Thomas Fleming

Thomas Fleming

Thomas Fleming is president of the Fleming Foundation. He is the author of six books, including The Morality of Everyday Life and The Politics of Human Nature, as well as many articles and columns for newspapers, magazines,and learned journals. He holds a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a B.A. in Greek from the College of Charleston. He served as editor of Chronicles: a Magazine of American Culture from 1984 to 2015 and president of The Rockford Institute from 1997-2014. In a previous life he taught classics at several colleges and served as a school headmaster in South Carolina

6 Responses

  1. Avatar Harry Colin says:

    At the risk of imitating some magazines that post book reviews of books the reviewer hasn’t finished yet, I must say that I’m about half-way through Magdalen Nabb’s “The Marshal at the Villa Torrini” and find her writing as good as suggested here. I was unfamiliar with her work until hearing Dr. Fleming’s remarks on the podcast. I acquired this book along with “Death of a Dutchman” (next in the queue) and am delighted to have done so!

  2. Thomas Fleming Thomas Fleming says:

    Delighted you like her. That makes you, me and Georges Simenon–among many others. I’m in Chapel Hill and picked up the first Inspector Brunetti novel bu Donna Leon. From one perspective, it’s pretty OK hackwork, but if you have read Simenon, Nabb, Camilleri…it is a really dreadful compendium of plot cliches, stereotyped characters, pop psychology, leftist history, feminist platitudes, and insipid prose. Small wonder she is such a great success.

  3. Avatar Ken Rosenberger says:

    I too have ordered a Nabb novel and look forward to reading it. Dr Fleming has an excellent track record with his recommendations on books, movies, food, and just about everything else he cares about. Right now I am reading David Hackett Fischer’s “Paul Revere’s Ride,” recommended in the first January birthday podcast. A libertarian/gun rights friend gave me this book a few years ago (apparently all the liberty gun club crowd swears by it), but I wasn’t inspired to pick it up until hearing the show. I think aside from John Lukacs, Fischer might be the best historian of our era who writes for a broader, non-academic audience. Wonderful prose, great storyteller, and you really get a feel for the excitement of being there on the ground in New England. I wanted to be a part of the patriot community, you know, aside from being a Puritan and a freemason. Fischer also makes the point that Revere didn’t say “the British are coming,” because that would have been unintelligible in a place where everyone was an Englishman. He said “the Regulators are coming out.” And Fischer makes the point that the revolution was conservative in nature, trying to hold onto rights they already had. Plus, Fischer emphasizes the reluctance of the British to kill people just like them. I mention these last two points, because I have heard Dr Fleming speak of them in the past. A fine and absorbing book.

    I’ll just mention that I recently watched the movie “Reds” for the first time, after hearing the podcast on violent movies, in which it was endorsed. I avoided it when it came out 38 years ago, back when I was a young Reagan airhead. I wasn’t going to see a movie by a lefty that I figured lauded the Russian Revolution. But I was surprised when I finally did see it. Beautifully photographed, well-edited, well written. A good companion piece with the USA trilogy by John Dos Passos, as a history of the early American left. Focusing on the human side, I thought it did a good job of showing how the idealistic liberals and radicals became disillusioned by the workers paradise.

    Keep the recommendations coming, Dr Fleming. You have nearly a three decade record with me, going back to Fred Chappell.

  4. Thomas Fleming Thomas Fleming says:

    Ken, I avoided Reds fonr the very same reason, and only saw it because of a conversation I had had with Ella Wolfe, wife of Bertram, who had know John Reed well. I had heard about the movie and read reviews–this was in the Summer of 1984–and I asked her about complaints that Warren Beaty was too good looking to play John Reed. Next time I see you I’ll tell the story if I haven’t already. Fisher’s Albion’s Seed was one of the. books Mel Bradford most often recommended and with good reason. It tells the story of how America’s early regional identities can be traced in detail to the parts of Britain the settlers came from.

  5. Thomas Fleming Thomas Fleming says:

    Ella and Bert, as you probably all know, were close associates with Trotsky and lived with him for long periods of time.

  6. Avatar Ken Rosenberger says:

    My apologies. Apropos Paul Revere, I should have used the word “Regulars,” not “Regulators.”

    Jack Nicholson supposedly pointed out to Beatty that he, Nicholson, hardly resembled the ascetically thin Eugene O’Neill. Beatty replied that audiences needed to believe that whoever played the part was capable of stealing a woman away from him. I guess we can say That’s Hollywood. But it does show that Beatty was aware of the disparity between reality and the movies. Come to think of it, I believe that no one would mistake the real Bonnie and Clyde for Faye Dunaway and Beatty.