I review intellectual historian Paul Gottfried's memoir Encounters: My Life with Nixon, Marcuse, and Other Friends and Teachers:
The Property and Freedom Society conference, hosted annually in lovely Bodrum, Turkey, by Austrian School economist Hans-Hermann Hoppe, is an eye-opening experience in urbanity for provincial Americans like myself. For the benefit of monoglot Anglophones, the speeches are all in English, but many of the Continental speakers, such as economist Jorg Guido Hülsmann, are more suavely articulate in their second, third, or fourth languages than I am in my one and only.
Fortunately, the presence in Bodrum of Paul E. Gottfried—the distinguished intellectual historian, VDARE.com contributor, and coiner of the term "paleoconservative"—demonstrated that not all Americans are as unsophisticated as I am.
Each time I passed Dr. Gottfried in the gleaming lobby of the Hotel Karia Princess, he seemed to be carrying on a lively conversation in a different language. He was even rumored to have started acquiring some Turkish, a non-Indo-European language from the Asian steppe whose mere placenames (e.g., the nearby resort of Göltürkbükü) baffled me with their unfamiliarity.
Gottfried’s energetic erudition reminded me of the international man of mystery who saves the day in Evelyn Waugh’s Scoop, "Mr. Baldwin", who plays world-class ping-pong while keeping up all the while "a bright, bantering conversation in demotic Greek" and "singing snatches of lugubrious Baltic music" in Swedish.
Gottfried’s new memoir, Encounters: My Life with Nixon, Marcuse, and Other Friends and Teachers, provides an ideal introduction to the works of this scholar, who is perhaps the most acute "political genealogist" of our time.