Ross Douthat provides a reading list for (dare I say?) an open-minded progressive in 2013. Frankly, his list is lame.
If you want a really open-minded reading list for 2013 here are five suggestions:
1) Read a book written by the losing side from America’s major wars (for example, here’s one from the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the German Wars, and the Cold War). Mr Douthat’s list may provide you with multiple viewpoints on why the US should invade Iran, for example, but are you prepared to consider that American foreign policy has been a tool of Britain’s Vampirish foreign policy for decades?
2) Read the memoirs of the greatest statesmen from the post-War era. You may be surprised at how stable and prosperous a diverse society can be. You also may be surprised what is required to achieve this stability.
3) Join the Froude Society. How much high Victorian thought have you read lately?
4) Spend a month reading nothing that’s under copyright restrictions. In other words, spend a month reading nothing written after 1920-ish. The modern world takes on a different hue if you’ve spent a sizable chunk of time reading things that are totally outside of it.
5) Spend a month reading the news only from anonymous bloggers of various viewpoints. Some people think that anonymity is bad. They’re wrong. Polite discourse is limited by the very strict bounds of political correctness. Some things that are true cannot be observed by non-anonymous writers. In other words (with a few notable and admirable exceptions), someone writing under their real name will lie to you if the wrong topic comes up.
Best of all, all this stuff is free.