My friend and mentor Dr. Jamie Glazov has a new book out, Showdown with Evil: Our Struggle Against Tyranny and Terror which you can purchase here.
The book is a collection of some of the best of Jamie’s interviews that he’s conducted over the years for FrontPage Magazine. I helped Jamie with the project, writing introductions to each section and conducting the interview which concludes the book. To promote Jamie’s new book, we’re printing that interview here. Enjoy.
David Swindle: Dr. Glazov, let’s discuss the themes of this collection and what conclusions we can reach from them.
First, in several interviews in this work you discuss your background as the son of two prominent Soviet dissidents. Can you tell us a bit about how you became politically aware over the course of your childhood and adolescence? Most young people are blissfully ignorant of political matters and the often disturbing realities of the world. Given your family’s history of fighting tyranny and terror, perhaps you did not have such a luxury?
Glazov: Thanks David. Well I am grateful to God I didn’t have this so-called luxury. To say the least, it would be an understatement to say that I never envied a lot of the people I grew up with in the West who walked around without one idea in their head or any yearning for anything. I remember being around certain friends growing up and they would be sitting around aimlessly and complaining that they were “bored.” I can understand being happy or sad, or being elated or depressed, but I could never understand being bored. My heart and mind has, from the time I was young, been consumed with worrying for the dissidents back in Russia, and in other totalitarian societies. I am not trying to glorify myself; I’m just being honest in that I was perpetually troubled by the suffering inmates of the communist gulag and I yearned for their release and for the punishment and overthrow of their tormentors.
My soul was intertwined with my dad’s and mom’s battle and perpetual concern for the martyrs that fell and the heroes that rose fighting against communist despotism. I was forever perplexed not only at the indifference around me about these matters, but, as I grew older and entered high school and the university, at the actual excuse and support for it. Liberal and leftist friends and acquaintances chastised my parents and me constantly about our inappropriate views and concerns, explaining to us that our focus should not be on communism, that really wasn’t so bad, but on American imperialism, aggression and oppression — supposed realities that, no matter how hard I tried, I could not detect my entire life.
These circumstances in which I grew taught me, on many levels, what life was and gave me a priceless gift: the gift of caring for justice, of caring for something greater than just my own immediate material or physical needs. I am forever grateful to my parents for having given me access to the divine gift of having an inner life and world.
My parents took on one of the most evil regimes in human history, a regime that massacred millions of people and brought misery and destitution to millions of others. Because of this background, I think I have a little inkling of what freedom is and what real oppression is. And so I have developed a reflexive nausea when I am confronted with the smug liberal and leftist, of whom I have met a million, who thinks he knows it all, is better than conservatives, and yet, when it comes down to it, has absolutely no concern for the truth or for the millions of human beings who suffer under the tyrannies that he supports and makes excuses for – and under which he himself would perish.
Swindle: Please tell us a bit about your odyssey through academia. What drove you to pursue scholarly work? What were some of the subjects you studied which influenced you the most? How did your studies affect your political philosophy? What was it like being a son of Soviet dissidents in a leftist academic culture which celebrated the monsters who had brought so much pain to your family?
Glazov: Going to university was just a given thing to do. I come from a family of academics and pursuing knowledge is something that you just love and pursue, there’s not really a question about it. I did my undergrad in history and then went on to do Ph.D. studies in history as well. I did it because I longed for fighting for the truth about communism and for telling the truth about it. I studied the Cold War because America was a divine entity to me and the Soviet Union was, for anyone with eyes to see, a clear evil empire that represented a toxic threat to every single human being, whether they were under its totalitarian grasp or outside of it.