Joseph Sobran: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

M. Joseph Sobran, Jr. (born February 23, 1946, Ypsilanti, Michigan) is an American journalist and writer, formerly with National Review and currently a syndicated columnist.


Academic and professional career

Sobran graduated from Eastern Michigan University and received a bachelor's degree in English. He studied for a graduate degree in English, concentrating on Shakespearean studies, following his graduation. In the late 1960s, Sobran spent time lecturing on Shakespeare and English on a fellowship with the university.

In 1972, Sobran started working at William F. Buckley Jr's National Review magazine. (During the 1970s, he frequently used the byline M.J. Sobran.) He stayed twenty-one years, eighteen of them as senior editor, before being removed from the publication amidst controversial charges.

Along with his work at National Review, Sobran spent 21 years as a commentator on the CBS Radio "Spectrum" program series, and is still a syndicated columnist, first with the Los Angeles Times, and later with the Universal Press Syndicate. His newsletter is currently distributed by the Griffin Internet Syndicate, a public relations firm.

Sobran wrote a column for the Catholic newsweekly The Wanderer entitled Washington Watch from 1986 to 2007. He also has a monthly column which appears in Catholic Family News. He writes the "Bare Bodkin" column for Chronicles.

Sobran was named the Constitution Party's vice presidential nominee in 2000, but withdrew in April 2000 citing scheduling conflicts with his journalistic career[1].

In 2001 and 2003 Sobran spoke at conferences organized by Holocaust denier David Irving.[1] Holocaust denial movement sharing the podium with Sobran included Paul Fromm, Charles D. Provan, and Mark Weber, director of the Institute for Historical Review. In 2002 he spoke at the Institute for Historical Review's annual conference.[2]

National Review Controversy

Sobran was fired from National Review in 1993 and was accused of being an anti-Semite (most notably by Jewish neoconservative writer Norman Podhoretz). Podhoretz wrote that "Joe Sobran's columns ... [are] anti-Semitic in themselves, and not merely 'contextually.'" Buckley disagreed with Podhoretz's accusation, noting that he "deemed Joe Sobran's six columns contextually anti-Semitic. By this I mean that if he had been talking, let us say, about the lobbying interests of the Arabs or of the Chinese, he would not have raised eyebrows as an anti-Arab or an anti-Chinese."[3]

One such comment was that the New York Times "really ought to change its name to Holocaust Update."[4] Sobran claimed that founder William F. Buckley told him to "stop antagonizing the Zionist crowd," and Buckley accused him of libel and moral incapacitation.[5] Sobran also complained of "a more or less official national obsession with a tiny, faraway socialist ethnocracy."[6]

Shortly after Buckley's death, Sobran wrote that the two had reconciled: "My employment ended unhappily, much to my regret now, but I rejoice to say we patched things up a year or so ago."[7]

Political philosophy

Through much of his career, Sobran identified as a paleoconservative and supported strict interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. In 2002, Joseph Sobran announced his philosophical and political shift to libertarianism (paleolibertarian anarcho-capitalism) citing inspiration by theorists Murray Rothbard and Hans-Hermann Hoppe.[8] He has referred to himself as a "theo-anarchist."[9]

Sobran says Catholic teachings are consistent with his opposition to abortion and the Iraq War. He also argues that the 9/11 attacks were a result of the U.S. Government's policies regarding the Middle East. He claims those policies are formed by the "Jewish-Zionist powers that be in the United States."[10]

Books and other publications

Sobran is the author of many books, including one about William Shakespeare, Alias Shakespeare: Solving the Greatest Literary Mystery of All Time (1997), where he endorses the Oxfordian theory that Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, was the true author of the plays usually attributed to William Shakespeare of Stratford-on-Avon.

He is currently working on two books: one concerning Abraham Lincoln's presidency and the United States Constitution, and another about de Vere's poetry.

He is also the author of:

  • Single Issues: Essays on the Crucial Social Questions - Human Life Press - 1983
  • Alias Shakespeare: Solving the Greatest Literary Mystery of All Time - Free Press 1997
  • Hustler: The Clinton Legacy - Griffin Communications 2000

Sobran has produced a number of published articles and speeches, including:

External links

Sobran's writings

Articles dealing with the anti-Semitism charge


  1. ^ CityBeat: Porkopolis (2003-08-27)
  2. ^
  3. ^ William F. Buckley, Jr., "In search of anti-Semitism: what Christians provoke what Jews? Why? By doing what? - And vice versa", National Review, 30 December 1991.
  4. ^ Jim Naureckas, "The Philadelphia Inquirer's New Spectrum: From Centrism to Anti-Semitism," FAIR, November/December 1995.
  5. ^ Ralph Z. Hallow, "War of words raging at National Review," Washington Times, October 7, 1993.
  6. ^ "In Pursuit of Anti-Semitism", National Review, March 16, 1992.
  7. ^ Sobran, Joseph (March 6, 2008). "A Great Spirit Gone". Retrieved 2008-05-16.  
  8. ^ Joseph Sobran, "The Reluctant Anarchist", Sobran's, December 2002.
  9. ^ Scott Horton interview with Sobran
  10. ^ Joseph Sobran, "West Meets East, Again", Sobran's, April 2002.


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Joseph Sobran is an American journalist who has written extensively on American politics and culture. His columns have been nationally syndicated since 1979, beginning with the Los Angeles Times, then Universal Press, and now Griffin Internet. He also writes for The Wanderer, a weekly Catholic newspaper.


  • After tens of millions of [abortion] 'procedures', has America lost anything? Another Edison, perhaps? A Gershwin? A Babe Ruth? A Duke Ellington? ...As it is, we will never know what abortion has cost us all.
  • Altering the Constitution has become the daily business of the Federal Government which the document is supposed to guide and limit. Both Congress and the judiciary assume, and exercise, countless powers they aren't entitled to.
  • Anything called a "program" is unconstitutional.
  • Democracy has proved only that the best way to gain power over people is to assure the people that they are ruling themselves. Once they believe that, they make wonderfully submissive slaves.
  • Freedom is coming to mean little more than the right to ask permission.
  • If you want government to intervene domestically, you're a liberal. If you want government to intervene overseas, you're a conservative. If you want government to intervene everywhere, you're a moderate. If you don't want government to intervene anywhere, you're an extremist.
  • In one century we went from teaching Latin and Greek in high school to offering remedial English in college.
  • Most Americans aren't the sort of citizens the Founding Fathers expected; they are contented serfs. Far from being active critics of government, they assume that its might makes it right.
  • "Need" now means wanting someone else's money. "Greed" means wanting to keep your own. "Compassion" is when a politician arranges the transfer.
  • People who create things nowadays can expect to be prosecuted by highly moralistic people who are incapable of creating anything. There is no way to measure the chilling effect on innovation that results from the threats of taxation, regulation and prosecution against anything that succeeds. We'll never know how many ideas our government has aborted in the name protecting us.
  • Politicians never accuse you of 'greed' for wanting other people's money --- only for wanting to keep your own money.
  • Politics is the conspiracy of the unproductive but organized against the productive but unorganized.
  • President Bush says Islam is a “religion of peace” that has been “hijacked” by a few nuts. He would know.
  • Since outright slavery has been discredited, "democracy" is the only remaining rationale for state compulsion that most people will accept.
  • ...[T]he Constitution conferred only a few specific powers on the federal government, all others being denied to it (as the Tenth Amendment would make plain). Unfortunately, only a tiny fraction of the U.S. population today -- [according to liberals] -- can grasp such nuances. Too bad. The Constitution wasn't meant to be a brain-twister.
  • The Constitution poses no threat to our current form of government.
  • The prospect of a government that treats all its citizens as criminal suspects is more terrifying than any terrorist. And even more frightening is a citizenry that can accept the surrender of its freedoms as the price of "freedom".
  • Voters who live off taxpayers are the Democrats' ace in the hole. The Democrats created big programs and never let the recipients forget it. This gives them an initial advantage of tens of millions of votes in any presidential election.
  • War has all the characteristics of socialism most conservatives hate: Centralized power, state planning, false rationalism, restricted liberties, foolish optimism about intended results, and blindness to unintended secondary results.
  • War is just one more big government program.
  • War nearly always serves as an occasion for serious expansions of state power and the destruction of legal protections.
  • Yes, government is far too big. But that's not to say that it has much control. It makes a million laws and can't enforce most of them. So many laws, so little order.
  • When a politician wrestles with his conscience, he usually wins.

External links

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