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Narrative Fiction and Civic Culture

April 3, 2021

Dr. Christopher Manion entered the graduate program in Government at the University of Notre Dame for the same reasons that led me to study with three of the best political philosophers in Academe at that time. With them we shared a common commitment to Christianity, religious faith, truth, justice and representative government rooted in the Constitution of the United States.

On Thursday Dr. Manion told me that the United States under a Biden Administration is “acting like a defeated and occupied nation.”

For years I wanted to express my view that America was “on the wrong track” and beginning in 1978 I published several books on such subjects in my field of political philosophy as “Public Philosophy,” the domination of American higher education by Progressives and about a community that formed what I called “the Conservative Rebellion.

Last year, when seeking a different way to express what for lack of a better word is my “Patriotism,” I published a work of fiction, a novel, about an American politician who wants to become President of the United States.

In a sequel to “Coda,” U.S. Senator Bob Hill takes a road trip across America much like the trip in a new Chrysler “New Yorker” that Harry Truman and former First Lady Bess Truman took shortly after Truman left the Office of President.

What Senator Bob Hill discovers as he and his wife visit eight cities in thirty days is that Americans are “Patriotic” too.

This week I’m going to introduce you to four scholars each of whom has used narrative fiction—novels—to express truths about their subjects. On Tuesday, April 13, we’ll meet to discuss how narrative fiction can explain why our beloved country shows signs that it is “a defeated and occupied nation.”  I hope you’ll listen to a recording of that discussion when posted at and at

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