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31 thoughts on “Contact

  1. Mr. Magnet … very anxious to get your new book! BUT, I find with my schedule listening to audio books more efficient than reading. I checked on and I can’t find any of your previous works. Is there any possibility this might be accomplished? I have seen that this is a substantial work of almost 500 pages which includes many illustrations, so I probably will be interested in both formats.

  2. Dear Mr. Magnet: Thanks so much for writing such a illuminating and different view of the founding fathers. I recall the first time I followed the Freedom Trail in Boston as a young college student and the visit to Paul Revere’s home. It brought our Revolution to life for me. I have never forgotten that experience. After College I joined the Navy and after 20 years of visiting lots of places in the world that do not have a Freedom Trail or well preserved homes of their counties founders, you book is a critical aspect of ensuring that we continue to respect and learn from the founders if we are to keep the ideal of freedom alive and well. I have visited Mount Vernon, but none of the others. I will make it a life goal to visit each of these homes and pay my respects to the founders and their vision. Your book is a new addition to the Freedom Trail. Thank You.

    • I am not surprised that your world travels have made so luminously clear to you how singular–how unique–is the freedom our Founders won for us, I spoke at the Boston Athenaeum a couple of weeks ago and looked out the back windows into the churchyard where Paul Revere lies buried. What amazing courage it took for those people to stand up against the world’s greatest military in defense of an idea–the idea of individual liberty that came to them, as I try to explain in the book, from their unique culture and historical experience, an idea that can’t just be conjured up out of thin air, as you and I have seen in our lifetimes, through failure after failure in other countries.

  3. The information in the book is excellent and written with clarity and excitement, but I must ask that Mr. Magnet read, at a minimum, Document 42 in silasdeaneonline,org to be more fully aware of the complicated story of Beaumarchais, Deane and Lee. While the Lees are central characters in Mr. Magnet’s story, in many cases quite deservedly so, Silas Deane receives only scorn and accusations, while he too did much for the Revolution and, coincidentally, has a beautifully restored home in Wethersfield, CT.
    I look forward to your response to this request. Jan Peake

    • Thank you so much for your interesting letter and for calling attention to the Deane House in Wethersfield, joined together into a single museum with the nearby Webb House, where George Washington met with General Rochambeau to discuss their next move in the Revolution–which turned out to be the final battle of Yorktown. The famous red-flocked wallpaper in the room where Washington slept is still there–or at least a fragment of it. See website:
      As to the larger question of the Deane-Lee controversy, please be assured that I am aware of the complexity of the story, and aware as well that Silas Deane, despite the ignominy in which his life ended, was not a black-and-white villain. But a glance at Document 29 on the website you mention will I think only reinforce my contention that Tom Paine, the writer of that document, backed up Arthur Lee’s version of the story, based on knowledge of America’s dealings with the French as reported back to Congress, of whose foreign affairs committee Paine was secretary. And as Paine says in Document 29, the internal evidence of Document 42–Beaumarchais’ letter–makes highly suspect the truth of what the immortal playwright alleges. Remember too that the French government, officially at peace with Britain, was particularly anxious to conceal its aid to an America at war with Britain, so that diplomatic evasion of the truth was the order of the day–including by Beaumarchais, who was then acting as a secret French government agent behind a fictitious front company (as he says in Document 42). And remember that Tom Paine then lost his job for saying something so undiplomatic as . . . the truth.

      • Thanks you for responding. Yes, it is clear that Beaumarchais had been in touch with Arthur Lee in England but Lee did not follow through and the actual negotiation for French aid were between Beaumarchais and Deane. Both men lost money of the goods given by France and spent many years trying to retrieve their funds from Congress. It is well known that Paine was not a fan of Deane’s which led to the dispute in Congress which I believe was and early example of the two party system.
        I was only hoping that Deane’s reputation could be improved and the criticism more tempered. Deane was not a bad man and much of his thoughts and ideas have proved to be correct in American history, such as the need to work well with England, plans for canals and for a navy. He had a very sad end to a life of public service. Jan Peake

        • Please see A. R. Riggs, “The Nine Lives of Arthur Lee” (Williamsburg 1976), which demonstrates that Arthur Lee did indeed complete his deal with Beaumarchais, as Harlow Giles Unger confirms more fully in his biography of Beaumarchais, “Improbable Patriot.” And sadly, we have the damning letter from George III to Lord North authorizing payment to Deane for his “services”–which were to act as a pro-British agent against the colonial “rebels.” Because all this happened under the cloak of secrecy, it’s understandable that scholars can still argue about what really happened almost as passionately as the pro-Deane and pro-Lee factions did in the Continental Congress during the Revolution. But with the passage of time, the facts have emerged. And they give little credit to Silas Deane.
          I am glad that the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum, in which I believe you played a key role, is flourishing. It is very important to make our history concrete and tangible–and it’s amazing that Wethersfield, Connecticut, was such an important setting in the Revolution, since Washington met with General Rochambeau there to plan the assault on Yorktown, at least provisionally. I suppose in a sense Wethersfield embodies the Revolution’s debt to France.

  4. Here’s a note of thanks for “Founders.” I rationed my reading of the 402 text pages over many weeks so I could allow the insights and historical detail to sink in, and not rush through to the end, as enjoyable as the reading was. I’m particularly grateful for the introduction to John Jay, for whom I had little appreciation before I read “Founders,” and also for the fair-minded and insightful assessments of Hamilton and Jefferson. Nice going.

  5. Mr. Magnet,

    Throughout my 18 years of studying and teaching history, I have been constantly bombarded with the message that our founding fathers’ were self-centered, greedy, elitists, who crafted only self-serving documents meant to maintain the power of the few at the cost of the many. Beard, Zinn, and others were the bibles of my professors and fellow educators. Yet, the more I read the primary sources, traveled to the major sites of our early history, and fell in love with the colonial to early national period, the more I realized that these men, though imperfect like us all, gave the world such a wonderful legacy through their writings and actions. Thank you for articulating their motives in such a well-crafted book. I hope that many future generations will reach the same conclusions based on the images you have drawn of these men and give thanks for the Founders’ legacy.

    • I am so grateful for your kind words. All one has to do is look around the rest of the world: one has to conclude that the Founding Fathers managed to construct out of the crooked timber of humanity as straight and strong an edifice, allowing the greatest possibilities for the self-development of the individual, that human history can show.

    • I’m so glad you see that, imperfect as they were, as all men must be, the Founders were great, world-historical figures, who left us the extraordinary legacy of a self-governing republic–also imperfect, as all human creations must be, but as close to perfect as governments have ever come.

  6. Mr. Magnet……I just finished your book and enjoyed it very much. I am a fanatic for American colonial history. I am also very interested in the homes of the Founders and have visited most of them. It seems that whenever I read a book about one of the Founders I always wish that it told us more about their personal lives and homes and property, etc., and your book does that better than any I’ve read. It really does bring a new level of understanding about how and why the Founders accomplished what they did and in the manner they did and why the American Revolution and Constitution has succeeded whereas most others have failed. Thanks for an excellent work.

  7. I teach Catholic seminarians and want to know how to get a hardcopy of your forthcoming clarence thomas book. I can`t find info anywhere at least not under the title I have for the book

  8. Mr, Magnet:

    You could do more to elucidate American citizens about political reality today by writing “Modern Leftists at Home.” Nothing would better reveal the hypocrisy of modern Leftist elites than to show the discrepancies between their professed beliefs and their homes, their wealth, and lifestyles that they enjoy. People need to see and understand the gated fortress of Pelosi; her use of military aircraft to get around; the multiple homes and the jet setting lifestyle of Al Gore, that advocate of reducing carbon footprints, etc.

  9. Your WSJ article was terrific. I worked for another judge, Janice Rogers Brown, who also grew up under segregation, and developed a similar perspective, as I described in an article this past March: “As an African-American child in the 1950’s Deep South, Justice Brown saw police enforce segregation, and so developed a healthy skepticism of “standardless and unconstrained police discretion.”

    As you observed, unconstrained discretion usually favors the insiders, not the outsiders. Similarly, “Limiting speech . . . favors those who do not wish to disturb the status quo.” (Reed v. Gilbert, 135 S.Ct. 2218, 2233 (2015) (Alito, J. concurring).

  10. hey myron, scotty with wtki radio in huntsville, alabama…just want to thank you for being on the fred show this morning…fred really enjoyed having you on the program…have yourself a great rest of the week, and we hope you’ll consider joining us again sometime !


  11. Thank you for your recent article on Justice Clarence Thomas appearing in the September 2019 Imprimis publication from Hillsdale College. I have a new-found respect for the man and his judicial acumen.

  12. Myron, thanks for this morning’s Journal piece on hate crimes, which was much needed. I’m reminded of the assessment of Ed Faltermayer, a Fortune editor, during your years there: “If we had more Magnets, we would attract more readers.”

  13. Mr. Magnet:

    I have read your Imprimis article about Clarence Thomas several times. I must admit
    I have viewed him as a man with a narrow intelligence and a large chip on his shoulder.
    He resents the assistance he received in getting his education and then various job/
    position offers. Yes we all want to surmount adversity on our own , but the fact remains that many
    cannot. The problem then is how to help people. Thomas’ court rulings
    suggest that they are on their own, that the opportunities presented by Affirmative
    Action (a program shown to work by a study done by Reagan’s Department of Labor,
    a study Reagan did not release because it conflicted with his own opinions) are out-weighed
    by feelings of resentment.

    One wonders what Thurgood Marshall, Elijah Cuummings, and John Conyers thought of
    Thomas. It is also interesting that the Court chose to ignore gerrymandering, which
    certainly goes against our Constitutional principle of one man/one vote on the grounds
    they would be overwhelmed with cases (if I understand part of their opinion correctly), yet
    you feel they should be (perhaps) overwhelmed with cases as to whether or not e.g.
    an EPA ruling conforms with its regulations. Of course the interpretations vary with
    the Administration. And while you dwell on the various agencies the fact remains
    that members of the Cabinet (Commerce. Labor, etc.) have established rules and
    regulations for far longer. Do the courts deal with them differently?

    In any event these agencies deal with auto safety, air safety, water and air pollution, etc.
    none of which are mentioned in the Constitution, which you did discuss.
    The strict interpretation of the Constitution in the 1800’s allowed businesses to do
    what they wanted and offered no help or protection to workers or children.
    FDR created agencies to deal with the Depression
    (unlike Hoover who thought things would sort themselves without government intervention)

    I doubt that Roosevelt “diagnosed the cause of the Great Depression as a crisis of
    overproduction…” He realized there were many factors. According to H.W. Brands
    (Traitor to his Class p.240);

    Roosevelt urged his listeners to look…at the lack of balance
    between producers and consumers. While corporate profits had soared
    during the 1920’s, wages grew by far less, and farm prices stagnated.
    The excess profits…spilled into the stock market.

    Hence the stock market crash and hence the problems FDR needed to address.
    Given to strict construction the Court blocked many of his programs. His attempt to
    “pack” the Court was a political failure. According to Brands (page 474) Owen
    Roberts might have been changing his thinking before that attempt, but whatever
    the cause he changed his mind. And what was the 5-4 ruling — that a Washington
    state minimum wage law was constitutional. Would Thomas have voted against that?

    To quote from Jeffrey Toobin’s 2007 review of “My Grandfather’s Son”:

    …Thomas has, in the name of anti-elitism, shown a
    distinct solicitude for certain kinds of elites–say for
    employers over employees,…for corporations over

    I finish with a quote from Fisher Ames in 1791 (taken from page 230 of
    “The Age of Federalism”) as to whether or not Congress could exercise
    powers not expressly set forth in the Constitution

    …hardly a law had been made in the previous two
    years that did not require the doctrine of implication
    and construction.

    and a reminder that it was John Marshall in Marbury vs. Madison who found
    the implied power of the Supreme Court to declare laws unconstitutional.

    One of the goals of the Constitution is to “promote the general Welfare.”
    To do so requires rules and regulations to balance our personal needs and
    happiness with the communal needs. We do need to look at what works and
    what does not work.

    Thank you for reading this…

    Paul Greenfield

    • Thank you for your observations. I deal with many of them in the book on which the Imprimis article is based, Clarence Thomas and the Lost Constitution. But let me sum up one of our principal disagreements as succinctly as I can. You interpret the Constitution’s concern with promoting “the general welfare” as meaning that the Framers envisioned something like a welfare state. “Yes, we all want to surmount adversity on our own, but the fact remains that many cannot,” you say. “The problem then is how to help people.” That’s not what the Framers had in mind, and nothing could be further from the federal government they designed than the redistributionist state created by FDR and the New Deal in the name of doing what they never dreamed of doing. FDR alternated between interpreting the cause of the Depression as a crisis of overproduction or of underconsumption–two sides of the same coin, neither correct. And you apparently assume that the New Deal solved the problem, however defined, whereas I think it lengthened the Depression, which only the war ended.

  14. My name is Oline Carmical, Jr. Long a follower of your works, I have been a faculty member [ professor of history and political science ] at the University of the Cumberlands , Williamsburg, Kentucky [ known as Cumberland College until January 7, 2005 ] since August 15, 1974. Someone with your views would be an honored guest here, should you choose to visit our school.

    Please check our Website. In particular, see our annual [Terry and Marion ] Forcht Lecture Series on Leadership . Our university welcomes persons of conservative or moderate views, and the Forcht funds have handsomely rewarded such past lecturers as Karl Rove, Mike Huckabee, Fred Thompson, and Terry Bradshaw. We also tolerate all non- violent persuasions, however]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]

    We are located in southern Kentucky, 65 miles north of Knoxville, Tennessee, and easily accessible via Interstate Highway 75 [ ordinarily, the most-trafficked in the country between April and September ].

    You and I are almost exact, chronologically speaking, contemporaries, born in the same year, and pursuing not too dissimilar undergraduate and graduate paths. I enjoy all your published books. I am purchasing multiple copies of CLARENCE THOMAS AND THE CONSTITUTION for a couple of dozen former students, mostly practicing attorneys. In fact, I have already sent one to Chris Musgrave, former campaign and staff aide tp Kentucky’s junior Senator Rand Paul and currently a practicing attorney in Lexington, Kentucky.

  15. Just read your article on Hate Crime/ Thoughtcrime. You nailed it. Sorry, though, it seems that nobody in our legislatures can grasp the nuance of the subject. In the song “Johnny 99” by the way-liberal Bruce Springsteen, he says “If you can take a man’s life for the thoughts in his head….let ’em shave off my hair and put me on that execution line.”

    Sorry to those among us who didn’t have parents that taught us the “sticks and stones” realities. You’ve got the right to THINK racist. You’ve got the right to TALK racist. It’s your actions alone that shall be judged. I’m not sure I even like the discrimination of intent/ non-intent crimes. I’ve given up trying to reckon my fellow man’s intentions.

  16. About your recent article “The Antiracist Racket”:

    I agree, but people need deep healing, too.

    People of means should be seeing that depth psychotherapy is made available to any who may need it. Therapists should be diverse.

    Also, public schooling should be replaced with diverse private resources and personnel who are prepared to help malparented kids to get their emotional needs met somehow. Conservatives need to own depth psychology and not evade it as they currently do.

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