The Point of it All - A Lifetime of Great Loves and Endeavors
Charles Krauthammer
Contributed by Jerrold Mcmenamin
Context

Charles Krauthammer composed The Point of it All: A Lifetime of Great Loves and Endeavors prior to his death in June 2018. The book was published by Crown Forum, and released on December 4, 2018. It features the columns, speeches as well as unpublished writings that showcase the author?s original thoughts and his last, lasting words on the nature of liberal democracy, the state of American politics, and the course of world history. Krauthammer dedicates the book to his wife, who he says has co-authored his life, of which The Point of It All is but a reflection. He also dedicates it to his son Daniel, whose incisive mind has incredibly influenced as well as shaped his.

Krauthammer?s first published collection of columns, the number one New York Times bestseller Things That Matter resonated deeply with thought leaders, readers, and critics alike. During its first year, the book sold over a million copies in its print, digital and audio formats. Following this success, Krauthammer envisioned writing numerous more books, including an original piece on foreign policy, another on domestic policy and a more personal memoir to trace the history of his family and his own as well. There were also many essays as well as columns that he had not included in Things That Matter, and pieces that he felt were too personal to include in the first collection. All these factors led him to complete a new collection and an original work on foreign policy. In his splendid introduction and poignant eulogy for his father, Daniel Krauthammer writes that the longest essay in The Point of It All was intended to form the core of the book, and it portrays an extremely pessimistic global view in which the author sensed an international shift towards authoritarianism, not only in China and Russia but also in the United States and Western Europe. This piece is almost Splengerian in its pessimism about the West.

About the author

Krauthammer, a physician, political commentator and syndicated columnist was born in 1950 in New York City but moved to Montreal at the age of five, together with his parents. He attended McGill University, where he graduated with First Class Honors in political science and economics. Krauthammer was a Commonwealth Scholar in politics at Balliol College, Oxford.

During his first year at Harvard Medical School, Krauthammer suffered a diving board accident that left him permanently paralyzed from his waist down. After spending 14 months recovering in a hospital, he went back to school, receiving his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1975. During his residency in psychiatry in the Massachusetts General Hospital, he was involved in the creation of the ?Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders III.? In 1978, Krauthammer quit psychiatry and joined the Carter administration where he became a director of Psychiatric research. He eventually became a speechwriter to Vice president Walter Mondale in 1980.  

Between the late 1970s and early 1980s, Krauthammer embarked on a career as a political commentator and columnist. He joined The New Republic as both a writer and editor in 1981. After three years, his New Republic essays won the ?The National Magazine Award for Essays and Criticism.? Krauthammer began writing a monthly back-page essay for Times in 1983, and a syndicated column for The Washington Post in 1985. The latter won him the Pulitzer Prize two years later. He was also a Fox News Channel contributor. In August 2017, he stopped writing his column and being a Fox News Contributor due to his battle with cancer, and died on June 21, 2018.

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