We know very little about his life before he was 35.
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Stephen Osborne said that more important than the puzzles about Hoffer’s life is “what he wrote.” That is true. But we all like a mystery. The True Believer was not seen as a conservative book. But by the 1960s-especially after his Berkeley experiences-he became what we would call a neoconservative.
Read any of Hoffer’s books (most are available from Hopewell Publishers in New Jersey). Hoffer took enormous trouble over his writing, sometimes rewriting ten times or more. The disappointment is that he never finished his book on intellectuals. He worked on it for years. But some of his thoughts are assembled in my chapter 8. A couple of examples:
The intellectual knows with every fiber of his being that all men are not equal, and there are few things that he cares for less than a classless society. No matter how genuine the intellectual’s altruism, he regards the common man as a means.
A free society is as much a threat to the intellectual’s sense of worth as an automated economy is a threat to the worker’s sense of worth. Any social order…which can function well with a minimum of leadership will be an anathema to the intellectual.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?