Some lovely email over the e-transom this morning:
From my old Mac Guy:
It’s your mac… guy…Just wanted to let you know I finished
your book and it is outstanding. With the job and four kids I’ve been
able to read for only 10 mins or so at night, and given the depth of
the book it took me much longer than I expected to finish. You’ve
noted elsewhere that readers have told you the book describes a
worldview they share but have not been able to express themselves.
Well, count me among them. And I really appreciated the tone and
seriousness in the book; I’ve grown tired of the polemic books that
pass for serious political thought.
I enjoyed the book so much that after finishing I returned to page one
and started over, something I’ve never done before. I hope that WFB
was able to read it before he passed, because I truly believe it’s a
“God And Man At Yale” for our times.
Did I mention I really liked it?
You should be proud. I’m sure your dad would be proud as well. My own
dad is recovering from heart surgery and I have promised him the book
when he’s ready to resume his reading.
I’m sad I missed you when you spoke at Oglethorpe in Atlanta, but I
hope you will be making your way back here soon.
p.s. One very minor point. At least once in the book, and I think
twice, you use the phrase “focus like a laser”. I would have thought
with your volcano-lancing research you would have discovered: lasers
don’t focus. By definition a laser emits parallel waves of light,
which never cross. Typical “incoherent” light (or any other energy
wave) focuses when the waves converge on a single point. Sorry, one of
my pet peeves, just couldn’t help mentioning it!
Me: Thanks! Re: the P.S. I believe every usage of “focus like a laser” was a subtle nod toward Bill Clinton’s 1992 rhetoric. So add poor understanding of laser technology to the bill of indictment against Mr. Clinton.
Anyway, more mail:
The most meaningful and relevant non-fiction I’ve ever read (I’m 54). It really helped bring it all together for me. I can now effectively articulate why I’m conservative. I had to order it as the Borders in Clarksville TN did not have it on the “best seller’s shelf”. I was late in picking it up and when I finally made it to the store it was hidden on some obscure shelf. I wanted an additional copy and when I asked the manager if another was available he seemed shocked……….almost offended. Needles to say I had to settle for the one copy. GREAT WORK! When is the next one?
After 1 1/2 months, I finally finished Liberal Facism. It was, in many ways, the book I waited many years for someone to write. Many of the points are ones I’ve made for years. I made the mistake of taking the book with me on my honeymoon and the wife was not amused that I wanted to spend just one night reading it.
As you wrote in the chapter “We Are All Fascists Now,” the progressive doctrines so saturate our culture that often we don’t even realize it. A perfect example is in the “Afterword” of your book where you mention a conservative position on school choice. Usually that includes school vouchers. As a graduate of a Christian high school that made Bastiat’s Economic Sophisms part of the curriculum, I cannot even condone vouchers as compromise. They do nothing to end compulsory education and they still use that which is defined as government money to fund the education of me and mine. However, trying to convince your average conservative to even consider public education as a bad thing is like trying to convince a nun that masturbating doesn’t make you go blind.
While LF has not pushed me towards the libertarian camp, it really has shown me that theonomy (as opposed to theocracy) is not such a bad idea. It applies moral restraints without resorting to positivist law or redemptive politics. In any case, your book was thought-provoking and I’m sure that I’ll send more unsolicited thoughts on it in the future. I look forward to whatever follow-up tome that you may produce.
Me: I know I’ve said this a few times now, but this sort of thing means a great deal to me on a couple levels. First, it just feels great to have positive feedback on the book after all the work I put into it and all the grief I’ve taken for it. But this sort of thing is also a very important sign that the book will have legs, both in terms of impact and sales. The single most important factor in “long tail” sales is word of mouth. And I think this is a pretty good sign that word of mouth will remain strong. Thanks again.