Book of the Month: Things That Matter by C. Krauthammer
1/16/2014 by BY MARGARET BOGUE
Book of the Month ? Things That Matter by Charles Krauthammer
The author is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize, a syndicated columnist, and a physician. His column is published in 400 newspapers worldwide including the Freestone County Times and is at the top of the New York Times bestseller list. He is a nightly panelist on Fox News? Special Report with Bret Baier, and a weekly panelist on PBS?s Inside Washington.
His Life. Charles? family moved from New York to Quebec province in Canada when he was five years old. That is where he grew up. After graduation, he went to Oxford University in England where he studied political philosophy. He was very absorbed in the study for a while, but he began to realize he would not be comfortable in a life of theory.
One day in August, he contacted the registrar at Harvard University, where he had been previously accepted, to ask for immediate admission. Fortunately, one student had dropped out a week before the beginning of the term. He was told the spot would be his if he showed up be Monday. He left England immediately to take up what was sure to be his life?s work in medicine.
There he spent the next seven years, four as a medical student, and three as a psychiatric resident in Massachusetts General Hospital. He said, ?I absorbed more knowledge in those seven years than at any other time in my life.?
He felt cramped in a hospital setting, and desired to do something else. By sheer luck he began writing for The New Republic. From there he was offered a speechwriting job by Vice President, Walter Mondale.
As a young man he was a liberal, devoted to the Democratic Party. As time passed he began to understand that the liberal Great Society and War on Poverty was causing ?irreparable damage to those it was designed to help? Thus he turned full-circle to the belief in limited government committed to guaranteeing individual liberty, while providing for the helpless.?
His Courage ? Toward the end of his freshman year at Harvard, he sustained a severe injury diving into a swimming pool. He was paralyzed. No one had ever gone through medical school with an injury that severe. he was flat on his back in traction, but he was determined to finish his studies with his class. Without the help of the associate dean of students, he could not have made it. The dean persuaded the professors who gave lectures to their regular classes, to bring the slides to Charles? bedside and project them on the ceiling as he lay flat on his back. Also the dean persuaded the professors to allow him to take oral tests because he could not handwrite for over three years after the accident.
He was for 12 months in inpatient rehab in Harvard Teaching hospital. With hard work and determination, he rejoined his class in the third year of study.
About the book ? It is made up of some 90 plus newspaper articles written during the last 30 years. He also has included five longer essays.
It?s time to thank some good folks for contributions. Four donors gave memorials for Cathy Hartless. They are the Class of ?54, Billy Turner, Pam Johnson, and Jane Moore.
Teague native, Bob Compton, has never forgotten his hometown. His support of the library through the years has been a great help. His recent generous donation is very much appreciated. Thank you, Bob Compton.
Things that Matter is not available at the library now, but may soon be.
Visit the library. Tons of great books are waiting to be read. Thanks to a friendly and helpful library staff!