Gerald Early

Gerald Early, editor of The Common Reader and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, is Merle Kling Professor of Modern Letters, professor of English and of African and African-American Studies, both in Arts & Sciences, at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Early is a native of Philadelphia and earned a BA from the University of Pennsylvania. He earned his MA and PhD from Cornell University.

Posts by Gerald Early

Don’t Fence Me In

The Working Class Republican is thesis-ridden, repetitive, and does what any “Gospel According to … ” book does: it gives all the best lines to the Messiah-figure, in this case, Reagan.

Winning One for the Gipper

The story of the rise of Reagan is the story of the successful rise of movement conservatism through rebranding the Republican Party. As Shirley writes astutely, if somewhat glowingly, in Reagan Rising: “In fact, the party was broadening the base by narrowing the appeal. Instead of trying to be all things to all people, the GOP, with Reagan’s gutsy leadership, was becoming one thing to all people.”

My Mother, The Star

I now think about my mother every day. I did not do this before she came to St. Louis to live. There was, in fact, a stretch of years when I did not think about her much at all …

A Tough Cop’s Patriotic Gore

Cop Under Fire is a rambling monologue, aggressively expressed if not always cogently persuasive as a set of arguments. It would serve Clarke adequately as a campaign book as it expounds his policy views in a number of areas, some only tangentially related, at best, to law enforcement.

Editor’s Note

Maybe money changed us a long time ago and there is really nothing it can do for us now as it is, in the human mind, both everything and nothing.

The Revolution That Got Televised

William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal were each other’s opposite because they were nearly identical twins in many respects. As a result, their 1968 confrontations would establish the template for televised political exchanges of the future.

The Conservative’s Dilemma

Trump’s slash-and-burn march to the White House, one of the most stunning accomplishments in the annals of American politics no matter how loathsome the man may be to so many, ended the dynastic claims of two powerful political families: The Republican Bushes and the Democrat Clintons.

The King of Panama

Roberto Durán made and spent millions, winding up broke, as most poor boys who became successful athletes do. During his salad days, he had a huge entourage, manzanillos, the “Panamanian slang for people who leech off the rich and famous,” as Durán puts it in his autobiography, to whom he gave away thousands a day. He drank, ate, whored, had children out of wedlock for which his wife forgave him. He apologizes for none of it. His autobiography is a defense of his life, an apologia, not an expression of contrition.