Bringing books home from my office, I unearthed the one from which the above quotation was taken. The quote but not the title was on my bulletin board. Ascent of the Mountain, Flight of the Dove was published in 1971. It is obviously a used book because someone else’s handwriting is in it, a textbook by the look of the notes. The back cover says that the author was an associate professor, and I wondered what had become of him, so I googled him.
My goodness. He has metamorphosed from a professor of philosophy and religious studies into a research fellow of the American Enterprise Institute. I know about this organization because an old Air Force acquaintance of ours is a member. It’s a conservative think tank. Novak has become such a partisan Republican that he could write just before the recent election that Donald Rumsfeld was the best Secretary of Defense that the USA has ever had. Even most staunch Republicans don’t think that. He has his own very elaborate web site. I remember now getting another book by him from the library and not being interested in it, but I can’t remember which of his many books it was or why I found it uninteresting.
I have been looking for the quotation to make sure I have it right and to see the context, but I haven’t found it yet. If I had tried to trace his life forward, to predict it from this one book, would I have got to the AEI?
When I was trying to figure out a theme for a blog, I thought of writing a kind of autobiography in which I could get a grip on what my life has been as a whole. I figured that the quotation was right for the project. When I was trying to get a name, Blogspot kept telling me that this or that title was taken, and when I hit upon the one that it became, Blogspot suggested hyphens. This has proven to be a very awkward title, but it is too late to change it now. I decided to use the name Nancy Ruth because I googled the writer of the poems that gave me that name and got so much information about her. I was especially tickled to find out that she was the rival of the much ridiculed Edgar Guest. Edgar Guest and Michael Novak. How strange life is.