Reader Question: Influences?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply:

Mark asks: I thoroughly enjoy your articles and podcast interviews. Your critical thinking skills and commitment to principles comes through in both formats. Who and what are the main influences that helped formulate your moral code?

My reply: I was corrupted early! First, by James Fenimore Cooper and The Leatherstocking Tales – and the works of Alexander Dumas such as The Count of Monte Cristo. These spoke spoke to my natural (I suppose) inclination toward the stalwart individual vs. the imbecile mass. Then I found Spooner and Bastiat and – above all, Mencken. That man lit my fuse like none other. I consider him among the finest and perhaps the finest prose stylist and clear thinker I have ever come across.

There is one other thing which I must add: My parents provided me with a wealth of adult books (not porn;  I mean not “kids” books) of all types – and from earliest memory. I was reading these – on my own, as I liked –  and came to love reading,  for its own sake.

As I still do, today.

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  1. Same here. Though I haven’t read Mencken. I read and read lots of different books on different subjects and areas, and have picked up quite a lot of knowledge that way. Reading BOOKS is the way to learn and do.


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