About Joseph Sobran

Joe Sobran (1946–2010) was an American journalist with National Review magazine and a syndicated columnist. Pat Buchanan called Sobran "perhaps the finest columnist of our generation." He was the author of Alias Shakespeare: Solving the Greatest Literary Mystery of All Time, Single Issues: Essays on the Crucial Social Questions, and Hustler: The Clinton Legacy.

The Prophetic C.S. Lewis

By |2018-05-21T12:19:55-05:00May 21st, 2018|Categories: C.S. Lewis, Christianity, Joe Sobran, Politics, Timeless Essays|

During World War II, C.S. Lewis realized that both the Allies and the Axis were abandoning the traditional morality of the Christian West, the great principle of which is that certain acts are intrinsically right or wrong… Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Joseph Sobran as he [...]

The Republic of Baseball

By |2020-04-22T13:05:18-05:00March 10th, 2018|Categories: Baseball|

Our deepest norms of order can still be seen in operation on the diamond when they’ve been adulterated everywhere else. Baseball is our Utopia — not in assuring us of the victories we dream of, but in guaranteeing ideal conditions even of defeat. We are players or spectators of other sports, but citizens of baseball. [...]

Reading Old Books

By |2019-06-04T16:02:23-05:00March 26th, 2017|Categories: Great Books, Joe Sobran, Literature, Timeless Essays|

There’s nothing quite like the joy of falling in love with an old book, finding a mentor who speaks to you across the centuries… Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join Joseph Sobran as he explores the delight that is reading old books. —W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher Dogged readers [...]

What Do We Owe the State?

By |2019-06-06T11:29:18-05:00May 19th, 2015|Categories: American Republic, Democracy, Government, Joe Sobran|

I have had a lot of response to my column on Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s book Democracy — The God That Failed, most of them enthusiastic. A surprising number of citizens of this democracy have lost faith in the state, democratic or otherwise. It is amazing how seldom we ask the most basic questions: What is a state, [...]

Was Shakespeare a Fraud?

By |2017-03-09T11:02:29-06:00June 26th, 2014|Categories: Shakespearian Authorship, William Shakespeare|Tags: , |

My book Alias Shakespeare has come under attack from Stratfordian scholars and critics, as one might expect. Most recently it has been the target of a long, captious review by Alan H. Nelson of Berkeley in The Shakespeare Quarterly (Fall 1999), that bastion of Shakespearean orthodoxy (published, of course, by the Folger Shakespeare Library). But [...]

The Imaginary Abe Lincoln

By |2016-07-04T01:02:56-05:00March 15th, 2013|Categories: Abraham Lincoln, Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Featured, Federalist Papers, Joe Sobran|

Abraham Lincoln Harry Jaffa says Jack Kemp and I have been conducting an “uncivil war” over Abraham Lincoln’s character. Well, for my part, I deny it. Kemp called me one of the current “assassins of Lincoln’s character,” which I thought was a little rabid, inasmuch as I had given Lincoln praise as well [...]

The Right to Secede

By |2016-07-02T22:49:47-05:00December 3rd, 2012|Categories: American Republic, Constitution, Joe Sobran, Secession|

How can the federal government be prevented from usurping powers that the Constitution doesn’t grant to it? It’s an alarming fact that few Americans ask this question anymore. 

Our ultimate defense against the federal government is the right of secession. Yes, most people assume that the Civil War settled that. But superior force proves nothing. [...]

The Myth of Limited Government

By |2014-01-10T20:31:39-06:00August 17th, 2012|Categories: Democracy, Government, Joe Sobran, Monarchy|

We are taught that the change from monarchy to democracy is progress; that is, a change from servitude to liberty. Yet no monarchy in Western history ever taxed its subjects as heavily as every modern democracy taxes its citizens. But we are taught that this condition is liberty, because “we” are—freely—taxing “ourselves.” The individual, as [...]

The Curse of Beatlemania

By |2017-06-05T13:44:17-05:00August 2nd, 2012|Categories: Culture, Democracy, Joe Sobran, Music|

A few weeks ago I wrote some mild criticisms of the Beatles and the sky fell. Angry readers called me “ignorant,” “vicious,” and various other things displaying blindness to my finer qualities. I hadn’t realized there was a militant Beatle Taliban, and I was an infidel. I was lucky to escape a fatwa. Some of the [...]

Your Friend, the State

By |2013-11-16T22:55:40-06:00July 24th, 2012|Categories: Books, Joe Sobran, Politics|Tags: |

Albert Jay Nock, an excellent but largely forgotten writer, once wrote a little book titled Our Enemy, the State. I still reread it when I’m groggy from absorption in the daily events of politics. It revives me like a slap in the face. If I were a pagan, I might fancy I heard the Olympian laughter [...]

Reading Old Books

By |2017-02-13T12:34:52-06:00July 8th, 2012|Categories: Books, Great Books, Joe Sobran|

Dogged readers of my columns will observe that I habitually quote a handful of classic writings, chiefly the Shakespeare works, Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson, and The Federalist Papers. If those readers suspect that these few masterpieces pretty much exhaust my learning, they are correct. When I was young, I bought the whole set of [...]

Only Mozart

By |2014-01-22T17:55:44-06:00April 27th, 2012|Categories: Culture, Joe Sobran, Music, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

Wolfgang Mozart Some guys have it and some guys don’t. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, now over 250 years old, obviously had it. By age eight he was already writing symphonies you can still hear on the radio. And there is no sign that the Mozart fad will blow over very soon. A couple of [...]

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