UPDATE: The audio and transcript of my interview with John Henry Crosby is now at the bottom of this post.
Certainly every morning brings a new outrage, and we have a long supply chain of evil tyrants with which to contend, whether Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un, or Grand Ayatollah Khamenei, not to mention the legions of fanatical killers of ISIS, al Qaeda and a dozen allied groups of butchers spread across the globe. There is a lot to be afraid of, and many reasons to wish our country would simply just drop out of the mess and hope the various storms pass.
So, how to deal with them? Yesterday I spent an hour with the Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens and the prescriptions he offers up both in that interview (see below) and his new book are certainly very useful.
Even more useful, however, is an example of genuine moral resolve from across 80 years, that of Catholic philosopher Dietrich Von Hildebrand. A new translation and edition of his memoirs of the great thinker’s resolve in the face of the rise of the Nazis and his refusal ever to be cowed by Hitler or to be tempted by the accommodation offered by the sophisticated men wearing the Swastika –like Franz Von Papen– is a door to a different time with immediate lessons. Edited and translated by John Henry Crosby and John F. Crosby, My Battle Against Hitler: Faith, Truth, and Defiance in the Shadow of the Third Reich would be very useful reading for Secretary of State Kerry, everyone below him at State and throughout the Congress. Send a copy via Amazon to your favorite –or least favorite– legislator (or both) and tell him or her to buck up and grow a spin. Lots of people have faced far worse situations than Americans do in 2014, and if they can just borrow some spine from the past, all will be well.
John Henry Crosby joins me in the first hour of today’s show.
Audio of the interview:
Transcript of the interview:
HH: Nevertheless, I’m very pleased that the timing of this has worked out perfectly. You might wonder why I’m going to spend the first hour of today’s program talking about a German theologian who’s been dead a long time, Dietrich Von Hildebrand. But his memoir, titled My Battle Against Hitler: Faith, Truth and Defiance in the Shadow of the Third Reich has just been translated and edited by John Henry Crosby, with John F. Crosby. And it’s released by Random House now. And it’s a major work. It’s an important work, especially for these days when all across the globe you’ll find an approximation of Hitler, sort of a downsized Hitler, whether it’s in the form of the Ayatollah, the Grand Ayatollah Khamenei, from whom anti-Semitic words drip daily, whether it’s Putin in his aggression against his neighbor, whether it’s a crazed lunatic Kim Jung Un, it’s a very bracing and necessary book. And I’m so happy to have John Henry Crosby, its editor, join me now. John Henry Crosby, welcome to the Hugh Hewitt Show.
JHC: I’m delighted to be here. Thank you for having me, Hugh.
HH: Well, I want to begin, the son of Florence and of a great artist, Dietrich Von Hildebrand, no one, I’m not going to say no one, but my guess is that 99% of my audience do not know him.
JHC: Well, that is absolutely correct, and I am hopeful that with the publication of this book, that many members of your audience and even people all around the world of all sorts of persuasions and opinions will discover this great, moral hero. Continue Reading