(CNSNews.com) - L. Brent Bozell III, the founder and president of the Media Research Center, has published a memoir in which he recalls the days of his youth and points to the direction in which he believes America should go now.
“We have to tell a story to the next generation about not just the good old days, but an aspirational story about what society could be if we so chose,” Bozell said in an interview about “Stops Along the Way: A Catholic Soul, A Conservative Heart, An Irish Temper, And a Love of Life.”
“And the more I thought about this book on airplanes, the more I thought: Time to tell the story,” he said.
Parts of this story take place in the Virginia countryside, where Bozell’s family moved when he was a boy. Others take place in El Escorial, Spain, where he and his brother attended a high school run by Augustinian monks. Yet another takes place in Washington, D.C. as the Reagan Revolution unfolded—and still another takes place in Sandinista-controlled Nicaragua.
Here is a transcript of Bozell’s discussion of “Stops Along the Way:”
Terry Jeffrey: “Hi, welcome to this edition of ‘Online with Terry Jeffrey.’ Our guest today is Brent Bozell, the founder and president of the Media Research Center of which CNSNews is a part. Today, we are going to talk to Brent about his book, ‘Stops Along the Way: A Catholic Soul, a Conservative Heart, an Irish Temper, and a Love of Life.’ Brent, when you were a young boy, your family lived in Chevy Chase, which is a suburb that literally borders on Washington, D.C. and then they decided to move someplace significantly different. Where did you move and why?”
Brent Bozell: “Well, we moved from Chevy Chase. There were then eight of us in the family–I’m sorry, nine. There would be ten eventually. But we moved for a number of reasons. One was Chevy Chase was very expensive, and with a family that size, it was difficult. Secondly, because my father was from Omaha, Neb., and he was a country boy and he pined to get into the country. And, third, because his children were terrible and we were all awful and the oldest was maybe 14, on down. And we were just terrible, terrible children, and getting into heaps of trouble all the time and we dominated the neighborhood with nine of us. The youngest was in diapers, but he looked like he had potential, so my parents fled, and we went to the country.
“Where did we move? We moved 60 miles outside of Washington, D.C. in a little hamlet called Huntly, nestled at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains. And this was a place that was not just 60 miles away, but it was 200 years separated from Washington, D.C. You were suddenly thrust into a world that was completely different and I thought to write about that world.
“You know, Terry, I have espoused for years that conservatives needed to become storytellers. We have such great stories to tell. And we have to tell a story to the next generation about not just the good old days, but an aspirational story about what society could be if we so chose. And the more I thought about this book on airplanes, the more I thought: Time to tell the story. Time to tell a story about, as I say in the book, it’s a series of stories, and I say in the book that if you believe they’re too good to be true, then I’ve succeeded in defeating the cliche. They’re all true. But they tell a different world. It opens your eyes, and that’s the story.”
Jeffrey: “So your parents created this environment for you and your many brothers and sisters to grow up in, out in Huntley, Va. Who was Douglas Russell, who’s one of the people you talk about?”
Bozell: “Douglas Russell–the book is dedicated to Douglas and to his mother, Ms. Gracie. The day we moved into this antebellum, huge home in the country, eight bedrooms downstairs, two more upstairs, everything with fireplaces, great rooms, paneled hallways, tunnels–which we can talk about–underneath. There was a diminutive, little black man, sweeping in the great room. Salt and pepper hair, 48 years old, 5-foot-2, 125 lbs. My dad went up to him and he said, ‘Excuse me, who are you?’ And he said, ‘My name’s Douglas Russell, and I’s come with the place’ I come with the place. In fact, he did.
“What we didn’t know was over one of the hills–we had 48 acres–there were two tenant houses that were there and there were two black families living in these homes. And one was Douglas and with his mother, Miss Gracie. ‘Well, Douglas,’ my dad said, ‘well, I guess you’ll work for me now.’ And I found out that Douglas was born on the property. Well, Douglas died on the property. Douglas was trained to be a farmer by this, apparently, this beautiful lady who took him under her wings and taught him farming. But her nephew took over the property. He was paid $50 a week, that was it. He didn’t leave the property, except to go on Saturdays to the town of Flint Hill or the town of Front Royal to get a bottle of wine and drink with friends and come back hungover on Sundays and go back to work. That was the life that he led.
“In the period of 11 years that we were there, from ‘64 to, I guess, ‘64 to ’77—it was 13 years--Douglas became the closest thing to a grandfather to us. He died virtually in my brother’s arms, died in the hospital but with my brother taking care of him. He was the sweetest, the kindest man you ever met in your life. A man of the soil. A man with a heart of gold, pure innocence. And the interesting thing about how he died, he came down with cancer and alcoholism, too. My dad continued paying him $50 a week, took care of everything. Douglas didn’t know the value of money, never had money his entire life, so my dad took care of everything for him, clothes, hospital, paid for him, let the other family live on the property, too. Took care of everybody.
“When Douglas came down with cancer, my dad said to him, ‘Well, you’re now retired.’ And he handed him a bank book. Remember, there used to be bank books and you wrote how much you had in the bank book, well my dad was regularly depositing money in a bank book in Douglas’ name. And there were thousands of dollars in there and he handed it to Douglas and he said, ‘Douglas, you’re retired.’ What did Douglas do? He came right to me and offered me the entire amount to put me through law school.”
Bozell: “No, Douglas. It’s yours.” He went to my little brother, offered him the entire amount to go to medical school. This was Douglas. I think it was all stolen by a nephew, ultimately, but the poor man didn’t know what to do with it and we just all urged him: Go travel. Do anything you want. Buy all the wine you want. It doesn’t make any difference.”
Jeffrey: But he had a permanent influence on your life?”
Bozell: “He really did. He really did. This was–you know I’ll–it’s got to be said, I don’t mind talking about this and I do in the book because, again, it’s important to tell the truth and to tell the whole story. I said that this was a world 200 years ago, just 60 miles away; it was two worlds. This was a community that was so tight--50 farmers, 50 families living there in this little hamlet--that if Douglas went out to the street to hitchhike and put out his thumb, the very first car that came by picked him up, every single time, no hesitation. Everybody knew him. Everybody cared for him. But what was his nickname? They all called him ‘little n*****.’ That was the world 200 years ago.”
Jeffrey: “My gosh.”
Bozell: “That was the world also, where, when we arrived there, two weeks after we arrived, we were greeted by a burning cross in our front yard. The Klan, one forgets, does not like Catholics either. So, that was the ugliness and yet think about this: 50 years later, I was visiting his cemetery and I saw the tombstones for Douglas and his mother and they just weren’t good. So, I went to the funeral home to order proper tombstones made for them and the lady at the funeral home was there 50 years ago. She remembered Douglas from 50 years ago. She said to me, ‘Brent, that’s very kind of you, but we’re not going to do it without the family’s permission. Completely different world, two different worlds.”
Jeffrey: “So, the year you moved in there, the KKK literally put a burning cross on your front yard?”
Bozell: “Yeah. When people, when I hear Joe Biden and when I hear the left talk about hatred and talk about race, they’ve never had a burning cross put in their yard. How dare they–how dare they lecture me about that. How dare they lecture my family. We were in the thick of that world and I understand that world because I saw that world and, Terry, if I were a liberal for the rest of my life I’d be bellyaching about this. ‘Why, I had a cross on my yard.’ You live with it. It happened, it happened. We actually found out who did it. You know, shame on them for having done that. But they did it to us. Life does go on, and life went on.”
Jeffrey: “Would someone coming into the Bozell house down there be able to tell the place was occupied by a Catholic family?”
Bozell: “Oh yeah, oh yeah, Catholic to the core. If you go to this place today, it is The Glen [Gordon] Manor, something like that, it’s a bed and breakfast. It’s a gorgeous bed and breakfast.”
Jeffrey: “Have you been back.”
Bozell: “I’ve been in the driveway. I can’t go in the house.”
Bozell: “I can’t go in the house.”
Jeffrey: “But the Catholic nature of the house?”
Bozell: “Oh yeah, but it’s been turned into a beautiful, gorgeous bed and breakfast. If you went there in 1964, no. It was a house and it was a home and there were children running everywhere. It was Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. The boys in shorts, barefoot. Nobody wore shoes, nobody wore shoes. You went in there and the Catholic thing was there. The crucifixes were up there. The religious pictures were up there. A book by Belloc was on the counter. At dinner time, my parents, who both of them had towering intellects, discussing Thomistic theory. Brimming. My father had a Catholic magazine, the editors would come out and they would spend a weekend with heavy drinking, heavy smoking of cigarettes, delving into the deepest stuff. You couldn’t follow anything if you were 13 years old. But you were mesmerized, mesmerized by what you were listening to. Oh yeah, it was the Catholic thing on steroids.”
Jeffrey: “This was Triumph Magazine?”
Bozell: “Triumph Magazine, somebody called it the most –in The American Conservative last week, wrote a piece about my dad and Triumph Magazine--and they called it the most authentically Catholic magazine in American history.”
Jeffrey: “And your dad was a convert?”
Bozell: “He was a convert. He was a convert. He was a Presbyterian–converts are always tougher, and we lived the Catholic life and I give examples of it. And, again, you don’t have to be Catholic to enjoy this. Just understand the culture. And what I want the reader to do is read these stories and ask themselves, ‘Why couldn’t it be?’ ‘Why can’t we dream of returning to a world as wholesome as this?’ With all the problems that we have out there, with everything that’s inundating us every single day, this book is meant to get you to sit back. It’s a fast read, it’s a good read, it’s an easy read. Sit back and imagine not an old world, but a new world.”
Jeffrey: “Today, many kids are simply glued to electronic devices, laptops, television. When you were growing up out there in that country home, how much TV did your parents let you watch?”
Bozell: “Virtually none. Well, here’s the thing: Out there, you only had three channels. You had NBC, ABC and CBS and ABC–the rabbit ears didn’t catch it very well. So you really only had two channels, maybe you had three. My parents had a very strict rule: two hours a week that you were allowed to watch television. Now, back then, everything on television was wholesome and everything was innocent, so you didn’t have to monitor anything on primetime television as a parent. Every Sunday, each of us would sit down and we would write on a piece of paper: ‘Gilligan's Island,’ ‘I Dream of Jeannie,’ ‘Bonanza,’ and you’d put it on the refrigerator and you got, from Monday 7-7:30, the TV room was yours, and that’s the way it was done.
“So what did we do? We never needed television. We made a world of our own and the world of our own was filled with imagination, it was games outside, all the time. It was character--I’ve talked about this, role-playing. We made up characters, we lived in a world of make-believe. We learned imagination. We learned to think with our heads; so television was two weeks, the rest of it was us living our own lives.”
Jeffrey: “You had three friends for a while there named Hector, Herman, and Harry. Who were they?”
Bozell: “On this working place, we had animals. We had every kind of animal imaginable. And one of them was three pigs, Hector, Herman, and Harry. Everyone had really interesting names; Hector, Herman, and Harry. I was put in charge of the three pigs. So, it started one summer, little piglets. I fed them day and night, put them away, brought them out. It went into the school year; it didn’t matter, rain, sleet, or snow, I was over the hill, taking pails of food, giving it to them. Everything was wonderful. The following year, I went off to summer camp and I wrote my dad from summer camp about this, that, and the other, and I put a ‘P.S.’ in there: ‘How are my pigs?’ And my dad responded with a letter about this, that, and the other and he put, ‘P.S. breakfast was grand.’ And so ended the tale of Hector, Herman, and Harry."
Jeffrey: “Decisive ending there. So, you started out high school at the Hill School in Pottstown, Penn. where some of your brothers also attended.”
Bozell: “And Donald Jr.”
Jeffrey: “Oh, is that right?”
Bozell: “Yes, yes.”
Jeffrey: “There you go. And toward the end of your freshman year, your father offered you an opportunity. What was that?”
Bozell: “Well he called–My dad challenged us, unlike any father would challenge any son. Today, the things he challenged us to do would land him in prison. He called my brother Michael, then a junior; I was a freshman. And he offered us a challenge: Would we like to go to Spain for high school the next year? Well great! There was always a catch with my dad. The catch was, we were going by ourselves. He, then 16, I, 14, we were going to live by ourselves. My dad had rented an apartment in this little town of four bedrooms, a little apartment there. He was going to give us $160, we were going to an all-Spanish school. So, we had to go in Spanish to this. We were going to live by ourselves. We were going to be given $160 a month, and that $160 was meant to pay for everything, everything, which we had to do on our own. We had to pay the rent, the utilities, the food, the clothing, the travel, everything, on our own.”
Bozell: “Now, here’s the thing, Terry, about that. If you think about living in another country today, you think, well, if I’ve got a problem, I’ll get on the phone to call. Or I’ll text or I’ll email. In 1970--‘69, to be exact--there was no smartphone, there was no email, there was no texting. In fact, there was no telephone. If you wanted to call from Spain, which was then very much a third-world country, people remember this, it was a third-world country. If you wanted to call the states, you had to make–you had to reserve time with the phone system. You might get it and it probably would go dead. The only other way, the only two other ways to do it, was one, a telegram, but telegrams were extraordinarily expensive. On $160 a month, we couldn’t pay for it–couldn’t afford it. The only way you communicated was by letter. So, you typed a letter, you mailed it, it took ten days/two weeks to arrive. So, a letter would be written, sent back, another ten days/two weeks to arrive.
“That was the only communication as 14 to 16-year-old. They had no idea what we were doing, other than the letter we sent them. And we were on our own completely.”
Jeffrey: “So you and your brother, you went to El Escorial, Spain—”
Bozell: “El Escorial.”
Jeffrey: “And you went to a school that, I don’t know – Real Colegio Alfonso XII –”
Bozell: “It was Alfonso–I guess it would be Alfred XII. The complex, the Escorial, was built by Phillip II in 1585. Some people call it the eighth wonder of the world, a magnificent structure, a basilica, a royal library, the royal pantheon, a monastery and a school.
Jeffrey: “And it’s run by Augustinian monks?”
Bozell: “It was Augustinians, when we’re there. I don’t know who’s running it now. They’re in a really sad state of affairs, Terry, in Spain today. In 1970, there were hundreds of monks and you would see them in their robes, strolling on the big, stone walkway, saying their morning prayers. The town brimmed Catholicism. People were going to Mass, daily Mass, every day, several times, weekend, Sunday Masses, every hour there was a Mass in the Basilica. Today, if you go there, you won’t find a priest anywhere.”
Bozell: “You won’t find a monk.”
Jeffrey: “In El Escorial?”
Bozell: “You won’t find them.”
Jeffrey: “The place is totally transformed?”
Bozell: “There is no weekday Mass, doesn’t exist. There’s only one Mass on Sundays in the basilica, 10 o’clock, and only about a third full. Spain has not just lost its Catholicism; it’s become anti-Catholic in a vicious way, so that if you happen to be a monk, you don’t wear your robe. You go in street clothes.”
Jeffrey: “That’s actually remarkable. You tell a story in the book, when you were 16, your father came over to visit you and let you drive.”
Bozell: “Yeah, well, my dad–just things that he did. He would show up, unannounced. We’d get a message from the porter at the front of the school: ‘Bozell boys, there’s somebody here to see you.’ We’d go down, there’s my dad, who’d show up. And it was a road trip, and sometimes when he’d show up, he’d say: ‘Where do you want to go?’ Because he believed living the culture was as important or more important than academics themselves. The academics there were good–nothing like the Hill school–but you were living the culture of Spain, the culture of living in a Christian, in a Catholic country, so we would take road trips.
“So on the one road trip, we were going to, we went to Cartagena and then we came back over a mountain and when we got to the top of it–I remember this vividly; it was a Simca rental car. Don’t ask me why I remember this. But he tossed me the car keys and he said, ‘Take it on down.’ And this was a winding road. These were just little, tiny paths over the snow. There were no guardrails and over the side, occasionally, there was a car at the bottom of the mountain. And, so, I had to white-knuckle it all the way down. I’d never driven a car before. I’d never driven a car before and I had the hardest time getting it into reverse. But he went down there and I remember, we finally got to the bottom; how we didn’t crash, I don’t know. We got to the bottom of it and, of course, in every place in Spain, there was a bar and he made me stop right there and he ran into a bar.”
Jeffrey: “It’s a good way to learn to drive. So after you graduated from the University of Dallas, you came and worked for the National Conservative Political Action Committee, or NCPAC, and you describe this as an organization that had a very small staff. But it had a big impact, didn’t it?”
Bozell: “It did. It’s a sad reality, but again, a story that needs to be told. How many people know–conservatives–can tell you what NCPAC was or who Terry Dolan was? Well, this man you’ve never heard of was as responsible as anyone for the Reagan Revolution that exists today. What do I mean by that? In 1976, this 27-year-old guy decided to set up an organization. He was tired of the Republican Party. He thought the Conservative Movement needs to leave the party. Shades of today. And he started this group. Well, it was National Lampoon inside there, or “Animal House” inside there, just these young–”
Jeffrey: “You say in the book, he was John Belushi.”
Bozell: “He was Otter. He was Otter. He was Otter.”
Jeffrey: “Sorry, no, you’re right.”
Bozell: “But he started the independent expenditure campaign and he had a political mind, strategic mind, that was pure genius. He did something unlike what anybody else does. In politics, it all starts after Labor Day, this is when the political season begins. Not with Terry. Terry started a year before the campaign; he would go quote-unquote ‘negative.’ ‘Negative’ meant talking about the incumbent’s voting record that he wanted to defeat. Well, the incumbent didn’t want that to happen. So, they would attack him for it and that’s what Terry wanted. He wanted a war with that incumbent over the incumbent’s voting record–never went personal on him–just went on his voting record. He lodged so many victories that it will stun you, including, in 1980, he targeted five incumbent senators, the five most powerful liberal Democrats: George McGovern of South Dakota, Birch Bayh of Indiana, Frank Church of Idaho, John Culver of Iowa, and Alan Cranston. Defeated four out of the five. This young whippersnapper–in Animal House.
"He did something that was unheard of. Now, why was that important? Because that’s what enabled Ronald Reagan to take the Senate. Had he not done that, Ronald Reagan never could have gotten his economic recovery program through the Congress and we never would have had a Reagan revolution, but for Terry Dolan, a man that no one knows. Poor guy, he was a mentor besides my dad, and a dear, dear friend. He died a horrible death, a tragic death–died of AIDS–and it was one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen. So, no one remembers him. He died on the final day of 1986. He was only 36 years old. But he is more responsible for the conservative movement’s success than anyone, I would say, other than Bill Buckley and Ronald Reagan.”
Jeffrey: “Towards the end, after Ronald Reagan got elected, towards the end of his time in office, one of the major controversies was funding the Contras in Nicaragua or fighting against the communist Sandinistas. You went down there. What happened when you went down there?”
Bozell: “A couple times, a couple times. Well, it was interesting. Think about this for a second: What’s the debate over right now? We’re looking at the Build Better America bill, whatever that thing is. $3.5 trillion.
“What was the biggest fight that was going on in Congress at this period, I believe, in 1986? It was a massive, violent debate about whether or not we should offer arms to the freedom fighters. The bill that was being argued, believe it or not, was $14 million--$14 million--and that was stopping Congress in its tracks.
“So, I was involved, I was running a foundation, a separate foundation, which turned out to be the mothership of the Media Research Center. But I was running the National Conservative Foundation and we decided to do some commercials to promote the cause of freedom and promote the freedom fighters. Well, that meant having to go to Nicaragua to shoot the commercials and you’re going into a communist dictatorship and you have to shoot commercials whose goal is to raise the funds to overthrow the communist dictatorship. So, we had adventures and we had false IDs. We had false magazine. We got stopped – not stopped, it was weapons drawn on us. I explained that I was working for ‘Tohm Brookah’ of NBC News, doing a puff piece on Danny Ortega. They let me through. And we had a lot of fun.
“It wasn’t all fun, though, because we went to visit the Contras in the jungles and you saw the very brave people, but devastated people, because nobody was helping them, and they were fighting for their lives. And then I returned a couple years later as an election observer in 1991.”
Jeffrey: “And Mary Matalin and Bob Beckel were with you on that trip?”
Bozell: “Yeah. There was a Center for Democracy, organized this, they were one of the three primary monitoring organizations. The other one being the Carter Center, the Jimmy Carter Center, and the third one being the Organization of American States. The Center for Democracy put together a bipartisan group to go down and to review what was happening in Nicaragua. Were the elections going to be free and fair? Well, what was interesting was that Lee Atwater, the late Lee Atwater, the head of the Republican National Committee, was going to head the Republican side, but the State Department deemed it too dangerous. So, his assistant, Mary Matalin, was sent.”
Jeffrey: “It was okay for her.”
Bozell: “It was okay for her to go. She was expendable.”
Jeffrey: “It’s only Mary.”
Bozell: “I love it. Well, thank God for Mary because Mary had a camcorder and on the third day we were there, the opposition leader, Violeta Chamorro, was doing a rally in the town of Masatepe and we decided to go there, to this town, about 60 kilometers from Managua to look at the rally. We asked the Carter Center girl, who was in the bar at the hotel, if she wanted to come. ‘No.’ She didn’t want to bother with it. This is the Carter Center. We went by ourselves and when we arrived, we arrived welcomed by this vicious rock-throwing battle that was taking place. I never understood how deadly rock-throwing was until I saw with my own eyes. It was the Sandinista thugs called the ‘turbas divinas.’ This is something the communists do all over the world. They send thugs into towns and they’ve done it everywhere and now they had this group of thugs called the ‘turbas divinas.’ They had arrived the night before and were waiting for Violeta Chamorro’s supporters to arrive and began rock-throwing at them.
“It was a vicious battle taking place. We had to insert ourselves into the middle of it to stop both sides and I went to the communist side and the other ones went to the opposition side and we got a truce and enough that we were able to go down to the rally. We decided to leave the rally early. There were several thousand people there going through those little streets in this little town. But everywhere we went, the rally followed us as we were leaving. So, Violeta Chamorro is in a Jeep with her supporters there. The ‘turbas’ were waiting at a street corner. This time, they had machetes out and they were waiting for a machete fight. The opposition people, they had their machetes, too. We didn’t know that and a machete battle broke out. Bob Beckel, to his everlasting credit–I saw, you know, big, gruff, Democratic Party operative, you’ve seen him on television–Bob Beckel threw himself on an eight-year-old girl and I think saved her life. A person was killed. It was awful.
“So, then we went back, as we were trying to get help to get the police to come here, to help out, the crowd pushed the thugs into a building. One of the thugs took a woman with a child and put an AK-47 to the woman’s head, which stopped the crowd. He fired in the air. Everyone dove for cover and he left. The crowd was furious and they went attacking.
“We went to the police station to find out why the police weren’t helping. The police were sitting back. It was clear that they were under orders from the Sandinistas not do anything. You understand what you’re living and what you’re going through now. And once the crowd set fire to the building, of the Sandinista building, in came the press. This had been perfectly orchestrated by the Sandinistas. They said, ‘Look what’s happening to our poor country. Look what the opposition mobs are doing to us.’ It was all a setup, all over the news the next day, The New York Times, The Washington Post, NBC, awful things that had happened..
“But Mary had the footage. She had filmed everything. So, the State Department came in in the middle of the night, whisked us out of the country, a plane took us to Costa Rica. The five presidents of Central America were visiting, were meeting that day. We were invited by the president, Oscar Arias, of Costa Rica to come in and show that footage. At the last minute, we were barred from entering there. So we decide, well, let’s just do an impromptu press conference outside the gate. We have the video.
“You know, they say a conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged. Well, I tell you, a right-wing nut is a leftist who’s had to throw his body on an eight-year-old child to save her life. We made Bob Beckel our spokesman. I’d never seen anyone be a stronger anti-communist in my life. We showed the footage. As a result, the Sandinistas denied, denied, denied. They finally, because President Bush got involved–he saw the footage, we took it to him–he was outraged. Because of the international uproar, she was finally given protection by the Sandinistas but they had to have a little piece of meat on their own to save face, so they accused me of starting the war and they accused someone else, other people. We were ceremoniously thrown out. The epilogue of this was that I was accused of setting the war from the south. One of our board members of Media Research Center, Curt Winsor, was the former ambassador to Costa Rica. He was expelled. And he had nothing to do with this, but they just expelled him, too. And NLC was persona non grata and that he had tried to start the war from the north. So the next time we had a Media Research Center board of directors meeting, I sat Master Winsor down. I said: ‘Next time you try to start a war and I try to start a war, we have to coordinate our wars better.’ Anyway, that’s the story.”
Jeffrey: “Last question, Brent: You talked about how the culture has changed so dramatically in Spain since you were in school there. You also talk in the book a little bit about how the culture has changed here in this country. What do you see as the big difference between the America you were a boy in and the America we’re living in now?”
Bozell: “Two things. You had greater faith in God and you had greater faith in yourself. We lived in a Catholic world. The United States was a Christian world. So we weren’t that far removed from, you know, the reality of the world. It was a Christian world and there was a basic goodness. In Spain, it was goodness on steroids. You didn’t lock your doors. If you walked into a town, the fact that you walked in there, they greeted you and took care of you. I hitchhiked from Madrid to Rome with $5 in my pocket and no one knew.”
Jeffrey: “As a high school kid.”
Bozell: “I was 16 and just did it because there were people I knew in Rome and they said if you arrive there, we’ll go back. I rode the rails by myself, by myself. Nobody knew. You could do that in that world. And the funny thing on that one was when I returned, I wrote my parents a letter; I told them about my adventure. Three weeks later, four weeks later, we got my father’s magazine, Triumph, and we got National Review, which was my uncle’s. And the new issue of National Review arrived and we always read it from cover to cover. I looked at the cover –‘A 16-Year-Old’s Easter Vacation.’ No one had told me they were going to do this, but there’s my letter, published on the cover of National Review, which was kind of interesting. But that was–So, it was a world of faith, but it was also a world of freedom, true, true freedom. And it had the flipside. Everybody talks about freedom, but there’s another side of that coin; it’s responsibility. And it was personal responsibility. We were taught to be responsible for our actions and you live in a country that was responsible for its actions. That was the world then. So you say: Well that’s a bygone era. No, it’s not. There’s no reason why we can’t aspire to once more be that.
“Will you be able to hitchhike from Madrid to Rome with $5? No. No. But there are other ways you can have freedom. And, so, I’m hoping that when you read the book, it will get your own mind going, your own creative juices going to imagine a world that can be that. And I ask people to do it because think about your progeny. Don’t think about yourself; we’re all okay. Think about your progeny. They’re the ones that are going to live in a very, very bad world if we don’t do something about it. But we need to know what to do and what kind of world we want to teach. So, this book hopefully tells that story.”
Jeffrey: “Brent Bozell, author of ‘Stops Along the Way,’ thank you very much.”
Bozell: “Thank you, Terry.”