Writing from Left to Right: My Journey from Liberal to Conservative
Image Books. September 2013.
Engagingly, writing as if to old friends and foes, Michael Novak shows how Providence (not deliberate choice) placed him in the middle of many crucial events of his time: a month in wartime Vietnam, the student riots of the 1960s, the Reagan revolution, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, Bill Clinton’s welfare reform, and the struggles for human rights in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also spent fascinating days, sometimes longer, with inspiring leaders like Sargent Shriver, Bobby Kennedy, George McGovern, Jack Kemp, Václav Havel, President Reagan, Lady Thatcher, and Pope John Paul II, who helped shape—and reshape—his political views.
Yet through it all, as Novak’s sharply etched memoir shows, his focus on helping the poor and defending universal human rights remained constant; he gradually came to see building small businesses and envy-free democracies as the only realistic way to build free societies. Without economic growth from the bottom up, democracies are not stable. Without protections for liberties of conscience and economic creativity, democracies will fail. Free societies need three liberties in one: economic liberty, political liberty, and liberty of spirit.
Novak’s writing throughout is warm, fast paced, and often very beautiful. His narrative power is memorable.
- Crisis Co-Founder Celebrates 80th Year with New Memoir, by Michael Pakaluk. Crisis Magazine. 09/09/13.
- “Writing from Left to Right: My Journey From Liberal to Conservative” CSPAN-2 BookTV. Address to the Kirkpatrick Society at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C.
- Between the Covers: Interview with Michael Novak. National Review 10/01/13.
- Kresta in the Afternoon: Michael Novak 10/8/13.
- Five Questions with Michael Novak, by Joshua Mercer. CatholicVote.com.
- Michael Novak, from Socialism to Conservatism, by Christopher White.
- Capturing a Political and Spiritual Moment, by Fr. John McCloskey. National Catholic Register 09/14/13.
- A Catholic for All Seasons, by Mary Eberstadt. National Review 10/14/13.
- BOOK REVIEW: ‘Writing From Left to Right’ Washington Times 12/4/13.