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Reviews

Books in Brief: July 2021

Who Is My Neighbor? An Anthology in Natural Relations, by Thomas Achord and Darrell Dow (584 pp., $24.99). The headmaster of a classical Christian school has teamed up with a statistician to collect and sort thousands of quotations pertaining to human relationships from myriad religious, political, and historic figures. The result is an invaluable reference for patriots with an intellectual bent, which shows how nationality, neighborhood, and kinship reflect natural law. The book’s historical quotes and references demonstrate that many of the sentiments now stigmatized as unthinkably “nativist” or “racist” have been taken for granted in every civilization, from classical China to ancient Israel to medieval France.

We discover, for example, Cicero cautioning the resident alien “under no condition to meddle in the politics of a country not his own.” Aristotle warns that “the reception of strangers in colonies, either at the time of their foundation or afterwards, has generally produced revolution.”

Achord and Dow have also compiled Christian sources from St. Augustine to John Calvin on the subject of man’s ties through kinship, as well as the thoughts of America’s Founding Fathers. His invocation of equality notwithstanding, Thomas Jefferson feared that “the importation of foreigners” would “warp and bias” America, rendering it...

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