Paul Gottfried has spent a lifetime asking politically incorrect questions, untimely questions that have made him more unpopular among some timid "movement" conservatives than among critical theorists, Central European Marxists, and assorted other debating and dining partners. But in Encounters: My Life with Nixon, Marcuse, and Other Friends and Teachers
, Gottfried puts past political battles aside in order to recount his varied associations and friendships with a host of fascinating figures, including his father, Herbert Marcuse, Paul Piccone, Christopher Lasch, Richard Nixon, and Patrick J. Buchanan.
Gottfried’s memoir emphasizes the Forrest Gump-like quality of his often accidental relationships with these celebrities and stimulating personalities, the benefits of which were not social or professional but personal. He insists that his life would be of little general interest were it not for the fortuitous encounters that have raised it out of the ordinary. The result is a unique, enthralling narrative that makes a signal contribution to American intellectual history.
What They're Saying...
"Paul Gottfried is a child of the century. He studied at Yale with Herbert Marcuse and has known Pat Buchanan, Eugene Genovese, Will Herberg, Sam Frances, Richard Nixon, and many others. His autobiography Encounters narrates his intellectual journey, and will be indispensable as a source when the history of the conservative movement is written."
— Jeffrey Hart Professor Emeritus of English Dartmouth College
"It was a real treat to coast the curve of time with Professor Gottfried as his many milestones of intellectual history reveal their greatness with charm and their foibles with candor. The author's searing self-awareness is an inspiration to all who eschew vulgarity for nobility."
— Rabbi Daniel Lapin President, American Alliance of Jews and Christians
"ISI Books is a leading publisher of thoughtful, well-argued books about economics, philosophy and world affairs. Paul Gottfried's Encounters is a worthy addition to its list, with its insights into the minds of remarkable men."
— Paul Johnson Author of A History of the Modern World
"Paul Gottfried, an American intellectual of superior talent, has been treated abominably by Academia, not only for his conservatism but for his incorruptibility. Yet, Gottfried’s memoir proceeds without bitterness, self-justification, or a settling of scores. This sprightly account of his career in Academia and conservative politics illuminates the intellectual and political currents of our time and abound with fresh insights and mature evaluations of persons and places."
— Eugene Genovese Historian and author of Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made
"Encounters is the account of a modest man, a very profound thinker. His accounts of men and his meetings with them and his understandings of them are very valuable, thoughtful, and not at all self-indulgent. They tell us very much about his subjects and also, unconsciously, about the qualities of himself."
— John Lukacs Author and historian
"Political philosopher Paul Gottfried, well-known for his studies of modern ideologies such as Marxism and neoconservatism, reveals the personal and intellectual influences that have made him one of our most provocative scholars. In this candid and beautifully written memoir, we learn more about friends such as Herbert Marcuse, Richard Nixon, and Patrick Buchanan than in a shelf of biographies. Encounters is indispensable reading for every student of modern American conservatism."
— Lee Edwards Distinguished Fellow in Conservative Thought The Heritage Foundation
"What jumps off the pages of Encounters is the amazing intellectual courage of an author who clearly and unequivocally states and defends what he believes. Agree with Gottfried or not, you will appreciate his refreshing honesty. A penetrating read."
— L. Brent Bozell III President Media Research Center
"Paul Gottfried has contributed as much as anyone to the explication, analysis, and assessment of Conservative thought, in the face of savage liberal, and murderous neoconservative, opposition. His characteristically graceful memoir is an appreciation of the men who influenced him—:some allies, some enemies, one a damaging opponent who subsequently became a friend—illuminated by fascinating personal recollections. It provides penetrating insight into key minds grappling with the issues of our times."
— Peter Brimelow Editor, VDARE.com
"In his new book, Encounters, Paul Gottfried takes us on an engaging and evocative journey across the landscape of American conservatism, where he introduces us to a rich variety of prominent thinkers and doers. Taken together, they represent almost all of the differing conservative perspectives of the last half century. At the end of our journey, the reader looks back with a great deal of pleasure, and with much poignant feeling, at the splendid characters that we have seen and that, with Gottfried as our expert and gracious guide, we have now come to know."
— James Kurth Professor of Political Science and Senior Research Scholar Swarthmore College
"If Paul Gottfried is capable of dull writing, you won't find any evidence for it in these pages, which sparkle from start to finish with his characteristic candor and intellectual intensity, generally accompanied by a wry, sometimes barbed, sometimes weary, and often self-deprecating wit. Gottfried has long been known both as a superb intellectual historian and a frequent combatant in American conservatism's internal battles. But in this pensive memoir he shows a keen talent for subtle portraiture, including an insightful sketch of the post-Presidential Richard Nixon, among the other fascinating figures in his gallery of friends and acquaintances."
— Wilfred McClay SunTrust Chair in the Humanities University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
"Gottfried . . . keeps chugging along like The Little Engine That Could, even though it seems his brand of conservatism can't crest the hill just now. The current era of liberalism, however, may be just what is needed for the paleoconservative engine to gather the needed steam for the future."
— Jo-Ann Greene Lancaster Sunday News
"[P]rofessor Gottfried is not a populist—he believes scheming elites play only a marginal role in the American people's affinity for state programs"
— Ilana Mercer World Net Daily
"Encounters focuses less on retelling Gottfried's own life tale than on providing a buffet of succinct personal and political portraits of the more intriguing personalities he's befriended. Even limiting himself to those who are deceased, or at least older than he is, leaves him quite an array."
— Steve Sailer V-DARE
"For a book written by a representative of the losing side in the conservative wars, Encounters is wonderfully free of rancor."
— John Derbyshire National Review
"Paul Gottfried has written a first-rate memoir of some of his most cherished encounters with prominent politicians and intellectuals. . . Gottried has been a pivotal figure in the world of ideas. His contributions to intellectual history and political theory. . . offer an abundance of value for young conservatives, libertarians, Western traditionalists, and other independent intellectuals."
— Young American Revolution