Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Joseph Sobran

Joseph Sobran

Overview
Michael Joseph Sobran, Jr. (February 23, 1946 – September 30, 2010) was an American journalist and writer, formerly with National Review
National Review
National Review is a biweekly magazine founded by the late author William F. Buckley, Jr., in 1955 and based in New York City. It describes itself as "America's most widely read and influential magazine and web site for conservative news, commentary, and opinion."Although the print version of the...

and a syndicated columnist, known as Joe Sobran. Pundit Pat Buchanan
Pat Buchanan
Patrick Joseph "Pat" Buchanan is an American paleoconservative political commentator, author, syndicated columnist, politician and broadcaster. Buchanan was a senior adviser to American Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan, and was an original host on CNN's Crossfire. He sought...

 called Sobran "perhaps the finest columnist of our generation", although Sobran was fired from National Review by his one-time mentor William F. Buckley after Buckley called Sobran's writing "contextually antisemitic."

Sobran graduated from Eastern Michigan University
Eastern Michigan University
Eastern Michigan University is a comprehensive, co-educational public university located in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Ypsilanti is west of Detroit and eight miles east of Ann Arbor. The university was founded in 1849 as Michigan State Normal School...

 and received a Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 in English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Joseph Sobran'
Start a new discussion about 'Joseph Sobran'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Quotations

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.

Encyclopedia
Michael Joseph Sobran, Jr. (February 23, 1946 – September 30, 2010) was an American journalist and writer, formerly with National Review
National Review
National Review is a biweekly magazine founded by the late author William F. Buckley, Jr., in 1955 and based in New York City. It describes itself as "America's most widely read and influential magazine and web site for conservative news, commentary, and opinion."Although the print version of the...

and a syndicated columnist, known as Joe Sobran. Pundit Pat Buchanan
Pat Buchanan
Patrick Joseph "Pat" Buchanan is an American paleoconservative political commentator, author, syndicated columnist, politician and broadcaster. Buchanan was a senior adviser to American Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan, and was an original host on CNN's Crossfire. He sought...

 called Sobran "perhaps the finest columnist of our generation", although Sobran was fired from National Review by his one-time mentor William F. Buckley after Buckley called Sobran's writing "contextually antisemitic."

Career


Sobran graduated from Eastern Michigan University
Eastern Michigan University
Eastern Michigan University is a comprehensive, co-educational public university located in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Ypsilanti is west of Detroit and eight miles east of Ann Arbor. The university was founded in 1849 as Michigan State Normal School...

 and received a Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 in English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

. He studied for a graduate degree in English, concentrating on Shakespearean studies, following his graduation. In the late 1960s, Sobran lectured on Shakespeare and English on a fellowship with the university.

In 1972, Sobran began working at National Review magazine. (During the 1970s, he frequently used the byline M. J. Sobran.) He stayed 21 years, 18 as senior editor, before being removed from the publication amidst controversial charges of antisemitism. Aside from his work at National Review
National Review
National Review is a biweekly magazine founded by the late author William F. Buckley, Jr., in 1955 and based in New York City. It describes itself as "America's most widely read and influential magazine and web site for conservative news, commentary, and opinion."Although the print version of the...

,
Sobran spent 21 years as a commentator on the CBS Radio
CBS Radio
CBS Radio, Inc., formerly known as Infinity Broadcasting Corporation, is one of the largest owners and operators of radio stations in the United States, third behind main rival Clear Channel Communications and Cumulus Media. CBS Radio owns around 130 radio stations across the country...

 "Spectrum" program series and was a syndicated columnist, first with the Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times is a daily newspaper published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. It was the second-largest metropolitan newspaper in circulation in the United States in 2008 and the fourth most widely distributed newspaper in the country....

, and later with the Universal Press Syndicate
Universal Press Syndicate
Universal Press Syndicate, a subsidiary of Andrews McMeel Universal, is the world's largest independent press syndicate. It distributes lifestyle and opinion columns, comic strips and other content. Popular columns include Dear Abby, Ann Coulter, Roger Ebert and News of the Weird...

. In 2007, his newsletter discontinued distribution by the U.S. mail.

Sobran wrote a column for the Catholic
Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...

 newsweekly The Wanderer
The Wanderer (newspaper)
The Wanderer is a lay Roman Catholic weekly newspaper published in St. Paul, Minnesota and distributed to a national market. It was founded by Joseph Matt on 7 October 1867...

entitled Washington Watch from 1986 to 2007. He also had a monthly column that appears in Catholic Family News
Catholic Family News
Catholic Family News is a Traditionalist Catholic monthly publication, edited by traditionalist Catholic journalist John Vennari, printed and published in the Western New York/Southern Ontario region...

.
He wrote the "Bare Bodkin" column for Chronicles
Chronicles (magazine)
Chronicles is a U.S. monthly magazine published by the Rockford Institute. Its full current name is Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. The magazine is known for promoting anti-globalism, anti-intervention and anti-immigration stances within conservative politics, and is considered one of...

. Additionally, his essays have appeared in The Human Life Review
The Human Life Review
The Human Life Review is a quarterly journal published by the Human Life Foundation since 1975. It is devoted to explorations of life issues, primarily abortion, as well as neonaticide, medical genetics, prenatal testing, human cloning, fetal tissue experimentation, euthanasia and assisted...

, Celebrate Life!, and The Free Market. Sobran was media fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute
Ludwig von Mises Institute
The Ludwig von Mises Institute , based in Auburn, Alabama, is a libertarian academic organization engaged in research and scholarship in the fields of economics, philosophy and political economy. Its scholarship is inspired by the work of Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises...

.

Sobran was fired from National Review
National Review
National Review is a biweekly magazine founded by the late author William F. Buckley, Jr., in 1955 and based in New York City. It describes itself as "America's most widely read and influential magazine and web site for conservative news, commentary, and opinion."Although the print version of the...

in 1993 for a series of columns Buckley considered "contextually anti-Semitic"; 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." One such comment was that the New York Times "really ought to change its name to Holocaust Update." Sobran claimed that founder William F. Buckley told him to "stop antagonizing the Zionist crowd," and Buckley accused him of libel and moral incapacitation. Sobran also complained of "a more or less official national obsession with a tiny, faraway socialist ethnocracy
Ethnocracy
Ethnocracy is a form of government where representatives of a particular ethnic group hold a number of government posts disproportionately large to the percentage of the total population that the particular ethnic group represents and use them to advance the position of their particular ethnic...

."

Sobran was named the Constitution Party
Constitution Party (United States)
The Constitution Party is a paleoconservative political party in the United States. It was founded as the U.S. Taxpayers' Party by Howard Philips in 1991. Phillips was the party's candidate in the 1992, 1996 and 2000 presidential elections...

's vice presidential nominee in 2000, but withdrew in April 2000 citing scheduling conflicts with his journalistic commitments.

In 2001 and 2003 Sobran spoke at conferences organized by Holocaust denier David Irving
David Irving
David John Cawdell Irving is an English writer,best known for his denial of the Holocaust, who specialises in the military and political history of World War II, with a focus on Nazi Germany...

, sharing the podium with Paul Fromm, Charles D. Provan
Charles D. Provan
Charles D. Provan was a Christian theologian, one-time Holocaust denier, and author based in Monongahela, Pennsylvania who later in life rejected Holocaust denial after his investigations led him to conclude that eyewitness accounts of the Holocaust were believable...

, and Mark Weber
Mark Weber
Mark Edward Weber is the director of the Institute for Historical Review, an American Holocaust denial organization based in southern California....

, director of the Institute for Historical Review
Institute for Historical Review
The Institute for Historical Review , founded in 1978, is an American organization that describes itself as a "public-interest educational, research and publishing center dedicated to promoting greater public awareness of history." Critics have accused it of being an antisemitic "pseudo-scholarly...

. In 2002 he spoke at the Institute for Historical Review's annual conference. In his speech, which he also reprinted in his newsletter, Sobran said:
I am not, heaven forbid, a “Holocaust denier.” I lack the scholarly competence to be one. ... Why on earth is it 'anti-Jewish' to conclude from the evidence that the standard numbers of Jews murdered are inaccurate, or that the Hitler regime, bad as it was in many ways, was not, in fact, intent on racial extermination? Surely these are controversial conclusions; but if so, let the controversy rage.


Referring to his appearance at IHR conferences, historian Deborah Lipstadt
Deborah Lipstadt
Deborah Esther Lipstadt, Ph.D. is an American historian and author of the book Denying the Holocaust and The Eichmann Trial. She is the Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University...

 wrote, "Mr. Sobran may not have been an unequivocal [Holocaust] denier, but he gave support and comfort to the worst of them." Writing in the National Review
National Review
National Review is a biweekly magazine founded by the late author William F. Buckley, Jr., in 1955 and based in New York City. It describes itself as "America's most widely read and influential magazine and web site for conservative news, commentary, and opinion."Although the print version of the...

, Matthew Scully
Matthew Scully
-Speechwriting career:Scully worked as a speechwriter in the 2000 presidential campaign, and served as a special assistant and senior speechwriter for President George W. Bush from January 2001 to August 2004. He also wrote speeches for vice-presidents Dan Quayle and Dick Cheney, Governor Robert P...

 said, "His appearance before that sorry outfit a few years ago ... remains impossible to explain, at least if you’re trying to absolve him."

Political philosophy


Through much of his career, Sobran identified as a paleoconservative and supported strict interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. In 2002 Sobran announced his philosophical and political shift to libertarianism (paleolibertarian anarcho-capitalism
Anarcho-capitalism
Anarcho-capitalism is a libertarian and individualist anarchist political philosophy that advocates the elimination of the state in favour of individual sovereignty in a free market...

) citing inspiration by theorists Murray Rothbard
Murray Rothbard
Murray Newton Rothbard was an American author and economist of the Austrian School who helped define capitalist libertarianism and popularized a form of free-market anarchism he termed "anarcho-capitalism." Rothbard wrote over twenty books and is considered a centrally important figure in the...

 and Hans-Hermann Hoppe
Hans-Hermann Hoppe
Hans-Hermann Hoppe is an Austrian School economist of the anarcho-capitalist tradition, and a Professor Emeritus of economics at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.-Academic career:...

. He has referred to himself as a "theo-anarchist
Anarchism
Anarchism is generally defined as the political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, or alternatively as opposing authority in the conduct of human relations...

." In the 2008 presidential election
United States presidential election, 2008
The United States presidential election of 2008 was the 56th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on November 4, 2008. Democrat Barack Obama, then the junior United States Senator from Illinois, defeated Republican John McCain, the senior U.S. Senator from Arizona. Obama received 365...

, Sobran endorsed Constitution Party
Constitution Party (United States)
The Constitution Party is a paleoconservative political party in the United States. It was founded as the U.S. Taxpayers' Party by Howard Philips in 1991. Phillips was the party's candidate in the 1992, 1996 and 2000 presidential elections...

 candidate Chuck Baldwin
Chuck Baldwin
Charles Obadiah "Chuck" Baldwin is an American politician and founder-pastor of Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. He was the presidential nominee of the Constitution Party for the 2008 U.S. presidential election and had previously been its nominee for U.S. vice president in 2004...

.

Sobran said Catholic
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 teachings are consistent with his opposition to abortion
Abortion
Abortion is defined as the termination of pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo prior to viability. An abortion can occur spontaneously, in which case it is usually called a miscarriage, or it can be purposely induced...

 and the Iraq War. He also argued that the 9/11 attacks were a result of the U.S. government's policies regarding the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

. He claimed those policies are formed by the "Jewish-Zionist
Zionism
Zionism is a Jewish political movement that, in its broadest sense, has supported the self-determination of the Jewish people in a sovereign Jewish national homeland. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to advocate on behalf of the Jewish state...

 powers that be in the United States."

Sobran considered Communism
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

 a significantly Jewish phenomenon, writing:
Christians knew that Communism — often called “Jewish Bolshevism” — would bring awful persecution with the ultimate goal of the annihilation of Christianity. While the atheistic Soviet regime made war on Christians, murdering tens of thousands of Orthodox priests, it also showed its true colors by making anti-Semitism a capital crime. Countless Jews around the world remained pro-Communist even after Stalin had purged most Jews from positions of power in the Soviet Union.


He believed about the Jewish people that "History is replete with the lesson that a country in which the Jews get the upper hand is in danger."

Books and other publications


Sobran was the author of many books, including one about William Shakespeare, Alias Shakespeare: Solving the Greatest Literary Mystery of All Time (1997), wherein he espoused the Oxfordian theory
Oxfordian theory
The Oxfordian theory of Shakespearean authorship proposes that Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford , wrote the plays and poems traditionally attributed to William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon. While a large majority of scholars reject all alternative candidates for authorship, popular...

 that Edward de Vere
Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford
Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford was an Elizabethan courtier, playwright, lyric poet, sportsman and patron of the arts, and is currently the most popular alternative candidate proposed for the authorship of Shakespeare's works....

, the 17th Earl of Oxford, was the true author of the plays usually attributed to William Shakespeare of Stratford-on-Avon.

At the time of his death, he was working on two books: one concerning Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

's presidency and the United States Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

, 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:
  • Anything Called a Program is Unconstitutional – Griffin Communications – 2001
  • The Church Today: Less Catholic Than the Pope? – National Committee of Catholic Laymen – 1979
  • How Tyranny Came to America, Sobran's, n.d.
  • Pensees: Notes for the reactionary of tomorrow National Review
    National Review
    National Review is a biweekly magazine founded by the late author William F. Buckley, Jr., in 1955 and based in New York City. It describes itself as "America's most widely read and influential magazine and web site for conservative news, commentary, and opinion."Although the print version of the...

    , December 31, 1985. (extended essay)
  • Power and Betrayal – Griffin Communications – 1998


At the 1994 Costs of Wars conference at the Mises Institute, Sobran presented a speech on "Shakespeare on War and Empire".

Personal life


Sobran was twice married and divorce
Divorce
Divorce is the final termination of a marital union, canceling the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage and dissolving the bonds of matrimony between the parties...

d. He had four children, and was survived by ten grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

External links