Polemics & Exchanges

Polemics on Polemics

When I delivered Liberty: The God That Failed into the hands of my publisher, I did so with no little trepidation.  Supported entirely by Protestant, secular academic, and other non-Catholic sources, including the work of numerous historians of the first rank, its detailed, 700-page counternarrative of the rise and fall of what the moderns call Liberty was carefully designed to avoid any accusation of Catholic special pleading.  Yet I knew that reactions to the book would fall basically into two categories: on the one hand, careful consideration of its amply supported contentions by those who would be surprised, as I was, by the truths hidden by the golden legends that make up the story political modernity tells about itself; and, on the other hand, angry rejection and gratuitous invective on the part of those who would not take the time to give the work a careful and dispassionate reading.  Clyde Wilson, I am sorry to say, falls into the latter category.  And I say with this great respect for his work and for Chronicles, one of America’s premiere intellectual journals.  Indeed, I was honored to see R. Cort Kirkwood’s favorable review (“Liberty: The God With Feet of Clay,” December 2013) of Liberty in these pages.

Dr. Wilson’s letter to the editor (“