Talking about the "things that matter most" on July 7
First Topic – American Cicero: The Life of Charles Carroll
Aristocrat. Catholic. Patriot. Founder. Before his death in 1832, Charles Carroll of Carrollton - the last living signer of the Declaration of Independence - was widely regarded as one of the most important founders. Today, Carroll's signal contributions to the American founding are overlooked, but in the fascinating new biography American Cicero, historian Bradley Birzer rescues Carroll from this unjust neglect. Born out of wedlock, Carroll became the best educated founder, a man of supreme intellect, imagination, and integrity. He recognized the necessity of American independence well before most other founders, brilliantly analyzed the situation in the run-up to the Revolution (though that analysis is now ignored by historians), inspired the creation of the U.S. Senate, and helped legitimize his religion, Roman Catholicism, in America. In this week after the 4th of July, we examine this fascinating Founding Father.
Second Topic – The Vatican Secret Archives
The Vatican Secret Archives have fuelled people's imaginations for centuries, most recently and notably Dan Brown (who has said he wasn't allowed in!). For the very first time, a publisher was allowed access to the archive without restriction. The result is an unprecedented and fascinating visual tour of this private place where the reader is not only able to view the public rooms that are only open to academics, but also the areas closed to the public, some decorated with 16th and 17th century frescoes, others stocked with documents dating back to the 8th century. Publisher Paul Van de Huevel joins us.