ON-Lion Letter
"In heavy seas, to stay on course it is indispensable to lean hard left at times, then hard right," according to author, philosopher, and theologian Michael Novak.  "The important thing is to have the courage to follow your intellect. Wherever the evidence leads. To the left or to the right."

In his new Writing from Left to Right, My Journey from Liberal to Conservative, Novak engagingly 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.

Novak is a trustee of and visiting professor at Ave Maria University.  He is the former George Frederick Jewett Scholar in Religion, Philosophy, and Public Policy at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI) in Washington, D.C.

Throughout his life, 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, he believes, 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.

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee supported Novak's work on the book and supports AEI.
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