Several decades ago, my father escaped from an NKVD detention camp, although to call it a “re-education camp” would be to assign a ludicrous level of luxury and comfort to it. He eventually made his way to America, where there were no commissars of culture, acceptable thought, or political correctness. He never much liked having “acceptable” thoughts forced upon him, whether at the point of a rifle or the point of a pen. Years later, the Gulag Archipelago was published in the United States and, accordingly, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn immediately became my father’s favorite writer. He was, as my father put it, ”the important writer,” a description magnified by its simplicity.
Whether or not he’d agree with him on any given matter, I have absolutely no doubt that were he alive today, my father’s favorite writer – by far – would be Mark Steyn, not merely because of his matchless wit and style, but because of his fearlessness and his appreciation for the perishability of freedom, the imperial absurdities of the cultural/ media/academic elite, and the dangers associated with almost imperceptible erosions of liberty.
Mark Steyn today is “the important writer.”