Being Freely

Jon Gabriel and Stephen Miller welcome author, musician, and all-around fascinating guy James Poulos to discuss his new book, The Art of Being Free: How Alexis de Tocqueville Can Save Us from Ourselves. James is an internationally recognized writer and social theorist who has written for National Affairs, Foreign Policy, Good, Vice, and Ricochet. He’s also headed into the studio to record songs with his band Night Years.

Our intro and outro music is “The Plot That Weaves” by The Brothers Martin. Stephen’s song of the week is “Eternal Honeymoon” by Baleu. Jon’s is “Star Roving” by Slowdive. And James’s is “Shut Up Kiss Me” by Angel Olson. To listen to all the music featured on The Conservatarians, subscribe to our Spotify playlist! You should also subscribe to this podcast and give it five-star, glowing reviews on iTunes.

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There are 4 comments.

  1. Ian M. Inactive

    This and the Federalist review make the book sound really interesting! Then again, I was already interested in seeing what the fuss was about Tocqueville – a while back, I was reading Democracy in America in bits at night, but I didn’t make it past his discussion of municipal governments in New England. While I’d like to grab my copy of DiA from under my bed and take another stab at it, maybe I’ve got a better chance at finishing this book…

    My gut reaction is that I might need a book on just Being before jumping into Being Freely. Hearing James’ observation that millennials are maturing less quickly than past generations, along with his comment about loneliness/awkwardness characterizing life for many people nowadays, is more true than I’d like to admit. And sometimes I get a whiff of how limited my experiences are, especially when older people tell me about their lives, but I haven’t thought about what the consequences of that are.

    I don’t know about anyone else, but this podcast made me want to get out more!

    • #1
    • January 18, 2017, at 9:30 PM PST
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  2. Saint Augustine Member

    Ian M. (View Comment):
    My gut reaction is that I might need a book on just Being before jumping into Being Freely.

    I don’t recommend Heidegger’s Being and Time! But maybe a good book on Augustine’s early investigations of desire and happiness would work. I’d like to think I wrote it myself, but it’s best to let others say whether what I wrote was actually good.

    very good book on just being is Pierre Hadot’s What Is Ancient Philosophy? And, of course, there’s Plato’s Republic and Apology.

    • #2
    • January 19, 2017, at 2:08 AM PST
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  3. Saint Augustine Member

    Hey, great conversation you got there, Conservatarians! (Almost finished listening.)

    What someone said about Aurelius is so true, which is why another one of the great Stoicism books is written by a slave, Epictetus.

    (Lest anyone think I’m well read, I hereby confess I haven’t read Tocqueville. What a loser I am, eh?)

    • #3
    • January 19, 2017, at 2:08 AM PST
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  4. Ian M. Inactive

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Ian M. (View Comment):
    My gut reaction is that I might need a book on just Being before jumping into Being Freely.

    I don’t recommend Heidegger’s Being and Time! But maybe a good book on Augustine’s early investigations of desire and happiness would work. I’d like to think I wrote it myself, but it’s best to let others say whether what I wrote was actually good.

    A very good book on just being is Pierre Hadot’s What Is Ancient Philosophy? And, of course, there’s Plato’s Republic and Apology.

    Thanks for the recommendations (and un-recommendation)! I know I’ve got some Plato and Augustine in old philosophy readers from college I held on to… I’ll have to take a pass at those again. Your Youtube channel looks interesting too!

    It’s funny how much more sense some of those texts can make when you’ve been out of school for a while (well, maybe that’s not as funny to professors like yourself!).

    • #4
    • January 19, 2017, at 1:12 PM PST
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