A Canticle For Leibowitz – March 2018

The Fleming Foundation


Walter Miller's

A Canticle For


Dear Friend and Fellow-Reader:

The next installment in the Boethius Book Series will take place on March 22, 2018 which is the fourth Thursday. The evening will commence promptly with drinks and hors d’oeuvres served at 5:00, at the majestic Fleming Foundation headquarters (my house): 2719 Highcrest Road, Rockford. The contribution is, as always, $15 per person, $25 per couple. If you know someone who might enjoy coming, please invite him as a free guest.

The March selection is Walter Miller’s novel A Canticle for Leibowitz. This popular novel is a science fiction chronicle of the collapse of civilization after nuclear war and the centuries of recovery that are intended as a parallel to the so-called Middle Ages.

A Canticle for Leibowitz is immensely fun to read, but it can also be an occasion for a discussion of the impact of nuclear weapons on the American mind during the Cold War and up to our own time. Miller was an engineer turned tail gunner during WW II in the European theatre, and his reaction to his own experiences were darkened by news of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which influenced his religious conversion.

Some years ago I had the notion to do a series of March lectures that commemorated the assassination of Julius Caesar. The topic was supposed to be Democracy and Tyranny, but the objective soon slipped out of sight. In this March book discussion, I am proposing to resurrect the topic and see if in future years we can plan a more public lecture.

I have not worked out the entire schedule of book discussions for the year, but I have determined to include the following books. If there are to be any changes, we shall let you know well in advance.

April: Sir Henry Sumner Maine, Popular Government

May: James Hogg, Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner

June: Aeschylus, Seven Against Thebes

August: Anthony Trollope, The Small House at Allington

September: John Webster, The White Devil

Naturally, I am open to suggestions.

Please let us know in advance if you are planning to come. We make arrangements for food and drink after lunch on Monday, and we would like to know by that time how much to prepare. Call, or text, me at (815) 621-5700 (a voice mail message is adequate if we miss your call) or email me at Thomas@Fleming.Foundation. If you do not receive confirmation from me, please try again. Several acceptances in recent months did not reach us, and we barely had enough refreshments.

Please try to arrive on time, if it is possible. Nonetheless, because we know that many of you have busy schedules, we welcome late arrivals, but please, out of kindness to the others, arrive no later than five minutes before the discussion, which begins at 5:45 sharp We shall break up no later than 7:15.

We look forward to seeing you on March 22nd.

Faithfully yours,

Thomas J. Fleming

PS. Gold subscribers to www.Fleming.Foundation can listen to recordings of the Boethius Book Series.