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Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  8,611 ratings  ·  905 reviews
 From America’s preeminent columnist, named by the Financial Times the most influential commentator in the nation, the long-awaited collection of Charles Krauthammer’s essential, timeless writings.
A brilliant stylist known for an uncompromising honesty that challenges conventional wisdom at every turn, Krauthammer has for decades daz­zled readers with his keen insight i
Hardcover, 388 pages
Published October 22nd 2013 by Crown Forum
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Dec 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviews
I made Charles Krauthammer's "acquaintance" via FOX over the past few years and found that he has been the person I listen to most carefully on a variety of current political and cultural topics. Why? Because he actually analyzes events from all sides and looks at the evidence logically before coming to a conclusion and not in lockstep with every other commentator, and that I find so refreshing.Truly a thinking man, but not unfamiliar with life's challenges or without passions-love that chess an ...more
I love this book! Krauthammer is brilliant, witty and, yes, at times sentimental (who knew? ;-). Of course, being a conservative politically I loved all of his political commentary - historical and current day equally. This book has so much more than that. A few of my non-political favorites were "Manners", "Of Dogs and Men" and "Don't Touch My Junk". I just finished adding all of my favorite quotes from this book to "my quotes"...I might as well have just typed out the entire book (and some of ...more
Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is not really a review of such differing and numerous topics published here, but just some adjectives. Superb prose. Courageous intelligence. Dynamic, deep, loving devotion to what is important for human moderns. These coming from a doctor of the mind and the body who has followed his own fate during a lifetime moving on some nearly impossible personal and context paths. And with grace and total lack of vitriol in every sense, as well. Do not agree 100% with this man, but his wisdom is more ...more
Tim Gerdes
Dec 28, 2013 rated it did not like it
I should begin by stating that I am not a Fox News viewer and I do not share Dr. Krauthammer's ideology. That said, I was given this book as a gift, I like to consider contrary viewpoints and I perceive myself as open-minded and persuadable to new ideas. I felt it fair to consider Dr. Krauthammer's opinions with as little prejudice as possible.

To the good. Dr. Krauthammer is an excellent writer. He is articulate, concise and often funny. He writes movingly about space exploration, baseball, ches
Sep 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
While I am not in complete agreement with all of his conservative opinions, I found this to be an excellent, thought-provoking book. The book is a collection of his newspaper and magazine columns, and speeches that he has given on many occasions. As the subtitle mentions, the essays cover thirty years of politics and history. Also, a few of the essays describe his own life. I've read some of his newspaper columns in the past, but I did not realize that he suffered a paralyzing accident while in ...more
Clara Roberts
Jan 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book divided into sixteen chapters consisted of ninety essays or columns written by Krauthammer over thirty years. The most griping essay was Zion and the Fate of the Jew. K. goes back into history to 586 B.C. and discusses each of the efforts to destroy the Jewish civilization. No other group of people with the same language, religion, and culture has existed as long as the Jew. No other people have contributed so much to the good of the rest of the world. Still there is an effort to wipe ...more
T.J. Wray
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't care if you are a Liberal Democrat, or a Conservative Republican, or a Flying Purple People Eater. Or whatever title you may give yourself. We all must admit that Charles Krauthammer was one of the greatest political columnist of his generation. For over 30 years this Pulitzer Prize winning writer gave us insight on everything from Jimmy Carter, to Barack Obama. It's sad that cancer took him at only 68 years old. He will be deeply missed. I plan to read more of his books in the near futu ...more
Mar 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant analytical mind that makes complex issues easy to understand. This collection of editorial essays on a wide variety of subjects hones in on what does indeed truly matter. I can't imagine anyone but the intellectually dishonest taking much exception with his clear and concise arguments which are presented on a wide range of complex subjects. learned a good deal from this collection of editorials that I believe could change the hearts and minds of many for the betterment of our world. ...more
Christian Dibblee
Nov 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
It's tough to give full thoughts on this book since so many subjects are discussed and dissected. I am resigned to giving my general thoughts on his wider positions and the book's content.

First, the writing is impeccable. I don't know a political columnist who writes with such force and accessibility as Krauthammer. He defends his position in very concise ways and shows his general intelligence with a broad vocabulary and intellectual basis. His personal stories are great, especially when he goe
Anita Pomerantz
Aug 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just can't bring myself to give a compilation of columns, no matter how well chosen and organized, a five star rating, so we will have to settle for four stars, but that being said, the book is excellent.
Of course there are a few caveats:
- My review is totally biased because I love Krauthammer's writing and often agree with his views
- Although he is a former Democrat, he is now clearly conservative, and since I lean that way on almost every non social issue, well my views are especially simpat
Dec 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: usa, thinkers-i-adore
Charles Krauthammer is incredibly intelligent and articulate and I thoroughly enjoy his articles in “The Washington Post”, so I was eager to read this book. It’s a collection of his commentaries and essays. Reading this reminded me of another favorite of mine that I read almost two decades ago, “Think a Second Time” by Dennis Prager. Both are collections of articles that are brilliant and thought-provoking. The only reason that I’m giving it 4 stars rather than 5, is that some of the pieces are ...more
Carol Storm
Aug 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Urbane and civilized on the surface, callous and hypocritical underneath . . . Charles Krauthammer is a Conservative With Class!

Krauthammer is the kind of guy who always wants to save civilization . . . as long as it's *his* civilization and not someone else's. He'll suck up to anyone to preserve his own comfortable status, no matter how high the price for those other people out there. His warm and loving tribute to Winston Churchill brought tears to my eyes. Somebody beat Hitler to his knees, b
Nov 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
A superb collection of political columns written over a 30-year timespan by an idol of mine. The life and times of Dr. Charles Krauthammer is worth a book unto itself. Having moved to Montreal at the age of 5 and lived there until after his undergraduate studies at McGill University, he went on to Harvard Med. What happens next is heartbreaking; Dr. Krauthammer suffered permanent paralysis from a diving accident. Refusing to let the accident define him, he convinced the school to allow him to co ...more
May 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
I almost give this book three stars because it was often thought-provoking. But Krauthammer's utter contempt for "liberalism" often overshadowed his ideas. The final quarter of the book says the same thing in essay after excruciating essay. He also seems to fall in love with certain words of phrases. I know a guy whose every political argument includes the concept of liberals being "poo-flinging monkees." Krauthammer is no better, using the analogy of Gulliver being tied down way too often. Wors ...more
I was pleasantly surprised by Things That Matter. Being a left-leaning political moderate, I often disagree with most of what I read and hear coming from conservative pundits and thought leaders. But Krauthammer is an intellectual of a higher order than the loudest of his like-minded political thought leaders and is far more evenhanded in his tone than obnoxious bloviators like O'Reilly, Coulter, Savage, and Beck. Even though he assigns a lot of blame to liberals in general and to Barack Obama i ...more
Dec 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
5:56 pee em, the 17th of december, 2017, sunday evening, just finished, three stars, i liked it, good read. he eviscerates the obama presidency, among other things. one of the last two or three i read and others before that, too, places the blame for isis solely on bush's presidency and they all give obama a free ride out of the arena. the bystander presidency, the presidenty who abandoned iraq, is left blameless. you get tired of it after a time, the endless demagoguery of the political and med ...more
Nov 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: worth-re-reading
A collection of interesting and often thought-provoking, previously-published columns (including several longform) on a myriad of topics—from "Accents and Affectations" to "Zionism and the Fate of the Jews"—and all thoughtfully and intelligently written (and peppered with dry humor). To the extent that you agree with Krauthammer's opinions (as columns are), you will enjoy this book. By and large, I did. ...more
Schuyler Wallace
May 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing

It would be a good idea to have a dictionary handy while reading Dr. Krauthammer’s collection of insightful observations, “Things that Matter.” The erudite author is clearly dedicated to plain speak but occasionally, like a body tic, he throws in a word that makes me fumble for Webster’s definitions. Sometimes even that doesn’t help.

I’m okay with that because I feel so much more intelligent after I read his material. I even understand and applaud most of it. I know. I’m showing my conservative u
Apr 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Words I'd use to describe Charles Krauthammer after reading this collection of dozens of his essays:

Entertainingly pompous
A likable know-it-all
Sometimes angry
A masterful wordsmith
Possessing a concrete sense of right and wrong
Highly intelligent

Krauthammer is absolutely a beautiful writer, but if you do not have his precise, very high education, many of his arguments and use of foreign-language words are inaccessible. I strive to have this man's command of the la
Tony Taylor
Mar 04, 2014 rated it liked it
This is a collectiosn of Charles Krauthammer's weekly columns and articles he has written over the many years as a political columnist. Many of his articles are interesting as well as well as enlightening; all of them are short and easy to read. This is one of those books that one picks up and reads a donzen pages or so in between other readings. Actually I found the introduction as interesting and informative as many of his articles. Krauthammer writes of his interesting background having once ...more
Peter Schmeltzer
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyed reading this collection of exceptional critical thinking essays.
P. E.
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I remember seeing the author on various news programs, but still didn't know much about him. This is the first of anything written by him I've ever read. Remarkable and simply amazing! The book is a collection of his many articles written over his tenure at the Washington Post. Clearly sectioned out in to four categories, the book holds true its title. I highly suggest making this your next read. ...more
Fred Forbes
Dec 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Some framework - I'm an independent; libertarian with regard to social issues, conservative with regard to fiscal issues, but unlike most conservatives, I recognize the importance of the revenue side and the need for those of us more blessed to carry a bigger share of the load. I read a lot on political and economic issues and find most of the right wing material to be inaccurate, slanted, disrespectful and hateful so it gets few brownie points with me.

This book, from a noted conservative, is a
Nov 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Before this book I was only familiar with Krauthammer from his sporadic appearances on the Sunday morning talk show circuit; and in those particular settings he often struck me as overly pretentious and angry. I was wrong about him. Having completed this collection of columns and essays I was struck with the consistency in his philosophic worldview, which I admire. He is thoughtful, humane, and religious. He is a practicing Jew, and it seems to be his Western, Jewishness that forms his ethics an ...more
Tom Stamper
May 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics, culture
Recycled collections rarely make great reading, but Charles Krauthammer has done a good job digging into the archives to find pieces that are still pertinent. Although Krauthammer began his career in Washington working for Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale, his foreign policy items dating back to the early 80s show a pretty consistent vision of the world. You could say that he was a cold warrior on the Left that moved Right when the Scoop Jackson wing of the Democrat party folded its tent. Probabl ...more
Keenan Johnston
Dec 01, 2013 rated it liked it
I was hoping this book would be more on the man, that his works. This is basically a collection of some of his best Washington Post essays. 30% are really interesting, 30% I didn't care about at all, and the rest were somewhere in the middle. I have a lot of respect for Charles Krauthammer as an independent thinker so reading his pieces are were stimulating. I enjoyed the way he infuses humor into his pieces, and came away with several new words to use due to his incredible lexicon.

His pieces ra
Dec 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Krauthammer's best seller is a compilation of many of his articles over the past 30+ years. I enjoy reading his regular Washington Post columns every week. I was unaware that he started out as a Democrat and once worked for Jimmy Carter's presidency. Of course now he is one of the conservative pundits that skewers liberals on a regular basis. He says he left the Democrats when it came to domestic policy when he saw how liberal programs failed time and time again to achieve the promised results. ...more
Feb 03, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5. I was surprised to discover that I am not as ideologically aligned with Krauthammer as I thought (though I haven't touched Fox News with a 10 foot pole in years so I'm not sure what I'm basing that on). But that Krauthammer is wicked smart is undeniable. I would absolutely go hear him speak live if ever given the chance. And though I'd say I disagreed with about 60% of the arguments he posited, man I wish more minds like his weren't just analyzing our government, but leading it. Also I had ...more
Jan 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Although I am as far to the left as Krauthammer is to the right on most things, I always enjoy his erudite and well-considered views. I checked this book out thinking it was his autobiography, but it is instead a collection of essays, both personal and political, from his 30 years as a columnist. Reading him is food for thought from a different table, and some of the selections are quite tasty.
I appreciated the introduction and personal essays the most, but what truly spoke to me on an intimate
Apr 05, 2014 added it
Mr. Krauthammer speaks prose. He is currently a regular in the cable world and his comments require ( at least for me) some time to digest and/or ripen. Thats not an easy task in the fast paced media news format. I prefer reading Mr. Krauthammer. This is a collection of what he feels are important thoughts he's shared in his columns over the years. Indeed they are. They are enlightening and always entertaining. ...more
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Israel - From Anc...: Krauthammer on Antisemitism 2 3 Dec 22, 2019 12:56PM  
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Charles Krauthammer was an American Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist, former physician, and Fox News contributor. His column was syndicated to more than 400 newspapers and media outlets.

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