Thursday, March 27, 2008

Garet Garrett: Far Forward of the Trenches (Bruce Ramsey)

Bruce Ramsey on the wonderful writer of the Old Right:

Joseph Sobran discovered these Garet Garrett essays "one night, long ago, at the office of National Review, where I then worked." As the flagship of modern conservatism, National Review supported the Cold War and the hot war then raging in Vietnam.

"Two questions occurred to me," Sobran writes. "One: 'Why haven't I heard of this man before?' Two: 'If he's right, what am I doing here?"

I discovered these essays at 16 in a Seattle bookstore that specialized in right-wing opinions. The bright blue paperback was called The People's Pottage. The book was one of the twelve "candles" of the mysterious John Birch Society, though the author had died before the society was founded. In his day he had been a member of the mainstream press.

Who was Garet Garrett? He was a stylist, right from the first paragraph. His writing had an unusual clarity of belief, and the ominous tone of a man convinced that his country had been steered down the wrong road.

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