It’s Lent, so let’s spend a little time away from politics. The Holy Fire, first published in 1957, when Eastern Orthodoxy had zero presence in the religious consciousness of most of America, is a beautifully-written popular history of ten towering eastern Fathers of the Church. Popular history in 1957 is not comparable to popular history in 2023, however, so this book reads like what might be an advanced college text today, if colleges studied anything worthwhile. Regardless, Payne’s book is an outstanding introduction to Orthodoxy in historical context, which is, no doubt, why St. Vladimir’s Press republished it.
In our failing American Republic, Julius Caesar is, for many, a condensed symbol. He stands in for everything that might bring a final, formal end to institutions already dead, and he hints at what and who may open the door to something new. This broad symbolism derived from Caesar’s meteoric career, however, means that all the many details about what he actually did tend to get ignored, as do the other players in the complex political whirl of the 40s B.C. What results is, too often, comic book history, which usually is offered to buttress some facile claim about what is happening today. Lucca Fezzi’s book helps us look deeper; he offers us a detailed, balanced, and narrowly-focused political history of the end of the Republic.
I was honored to appear in four different venues in February. These were: 1) A second appearance on Alex Kaschuta’s Subversive podcast. 2) An appearance on Brian Chau’s From the New World podcast (nearly three hours!) 3) An appearance on Stephen W. Carson’s Radical Liberation podcast. 4) An appearance on Todd Lewis’s Praise of Folly podcast. Each of these had a different focus; there was, for example, much talk of technology, including my viral thread about Elon Musk bringing Twitter overnight to profitability, along with more explicitly political topics. Details and embeddings are below.
I am often asked how I achieved entrepreneurial success. That is, how I became, in the words of Edwin Arlington Robinson’s “Richard Cory,” “rich—yes, richer than a king.” (We can gloss over the ultimate fate of Cory in that poem, which will not be mine, even if sometimes I expect to also die with a gun in my hand.) Back in 2019, I discussed bits and pieces of my story in my thoughts on Daymond John’s Rise & Grind. Today I want to finish the tale, and probably of more interest to my readers, to offer my more-or-less complete thoughts on what it takes to become rich through starting a business.
Ernst von Salomon’s Der Fragebogen is unique, a product of the refiner’s fire, a work forged in the cataclysm of mid-twentieth-century Europe. But this once-famous, now-obscure book, published only one time in English, and that seventy years ago, still holds within its pages knowledge about both the past and the future. As to the past, from this book we can learn something completely missing from modern discourse—the complex views of 1930s and 1940s German patriots. As to the future, we can learn something more practical—methods to, in a future dispensation, help us flush Left poison completely and permanently from our body politic.
[Having waited a decent interval after Pope Benedict’s death, this article is timely again. It was originally published on March 30, 2018.] Ross Douthat has a job that is, I would guess, either enviable or unpleasant, depending on the day—that of being the only regular conservative contributor to the New York Times. A frequent focus of Douthat’s is that most counter-cultural of doctrines, orthodox Roman Catholicism. If you want to suffer, you need only visit the comments section in the Times for any Douthat column, especially one on Catholicism. Exposing yourself to the firehose of bile and stupidity there will show you what Purgatory will be like, although perhaps Purgatory will be an improvement. Undaunted, Douthat now offers a full-length book on the changes being brought about by Pope Francis.
In September, I sat down for a talk with Tucker Carlson, on Tucker Carlson Today. This is the complete video. We talk about a great deal, from Foundationalism to farming, and whether I am related to the Communist Big Bill Haywood. You can find the audio version here, or on standard podcast platforms. Audio and video versions also embedded below.
If you know anything about Oliver Cromwell—and few do nowadays— you probably have an opinion about the man. Some vilify him; “A curse upon you, Oliver Cromwell, you who raped our Motherland,” the Irish rock band The Pogues sang. Others praise him as an enemy of arbitrary rule and a proto-republican. Ronald Hutton’s new biography of Cromwell’s early life and his climb to prominence makes no final judgment on the man, but it does offer a nuanced view of this complex historical figure. From Hutton’s excellent book we get not just history but the realization, in this desiccated age, that men such as Cromwell always emerge during great turmoil, rising as if from sown dragon’s teeth.
Let’s talk about the Jews. No, not about how the Jews supposedly run the world (although there is some truth buried in that claim, to which we will return). I mean about the actual Jews, the past and present people who have been, arguably, more central to the story of mankind than any other people. This book, Guy MacLean Roger’s For the Freedom of Zion, exhaustively narrates the First Jewish-Roman War, A.D. 66–74, in which the Romans defeated a Jewish revolt, and during which the Romans destroyed the Second Temple. From it we can take both fascinating history and useful thoughts for today.
Now available is my discussion with Auron MacIntyre about victory over the Left. We talk about permanent success in building a Left-free society, about “no enemies to the right,” about technology, and much more. You can find the episode here in video on YouTube, or here in audio on Apple Podcasts, or on all the usual podcast platforms. You can follow Auron on his very popular YouTube channel, at his Substack, or on Twitter and Gab. You can support his work on Subscribestar, as well.