Talking about the “Things That Matter Most” on July 23, 2014
4:00 – Writing from Left to Right: My Journey from Liberal to Conservative
Once a liberal writer and thinker, Michael Novak is here to shows how Providence (not deliberate choice) placed him in the middle of many crucial events of his time: a month in wartime Vietnam, the student riots of the 1960s, the Reagan revolution, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, Bill Clinton’s welfare reform, and the struggles for human rights in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also spent fascinating days, sometimes longer, with inspiring leaders like Sargent Shriver, Bobby Kennedy, George McGovern, Jack Kemp, Václav Havel, President Reagan, Lady Thatcher, and Pope John Paul II, who helped shape—and reshape—his political views. Through it all, his focus on helping the poor and defending universal human rights remained constant; he gradually came to see building small businesses and envy-free democracies as the only realistic way to build free societies. Without economic growth from the bottom up, democracies are not stable. Without protections for liberties of conscience and economic creativity, democracies will fail. Free societies need three liberties in one: economic liberty, political liberty, and liberty
5:00- Race With the Devil: My Journey from Racial Hatred to Rational Love
Before he was the world’s foremost Catholic biographer, Joseph Pearce was a leader of the National Front, a British-nationalist, white-supremacist group. Before he published books highlighting and celebrating the great Catholic cultural tradition, he disseminated literature extolling the virtues of the white race, and calling for the banishment of all non-whites from Britain. Pearce and his cohorts were at the center of the racial and nationalist tensions—often violent—that swirled around London in the late-1970s and early 80s. A one-year prison term spurred a sea change in his life. He is here to talk about it.