The Corner

Shop Talk

I just returned from getting an oil change. In the waiting room at the car dealership, a guy was reading The First Assassin! Okay, I’ll admit it: Our daughters play soccer together, so this wasn’t exactly a pure coincidence. But it was pleasant surprise. There are many small thrills attached to the writing life. Seeing your name in print is one of them. More rewarding, in its way, is watching a total stranger read your work. I’ve had the experience several times, usually on the Metro with a person who clutches an issue of National Review or the Wall Street Journal. It’s always special.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.

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