Many older individuals may remember Charles Krauthammer first as a political pundit whose commentary won him a 1987 Pulitzer Prize journaling “witty and insightful columns on national issues.” To receive such a sought after accolade solely on the basis of what one has to say, it is not hard for readers to envision the level of wit and insight a young Krauthammer brought to the table. Krauthammer’s vigorous disagreements with Francis Fukuyama, an influential political scientist in his own right, on the future of an American hegemony in the early-2000s brought Krauthammer to a position where he came to occupy a brief moment in the national spotlight again, this time in front of a younger audience.
Published in 2013, Krauthammer spends this volume entitled “Things That Matter,” on what he exactly believes as that: the American experience, his own personal interpretation of it from a more individualized account (i.e. on Judaism), and how the United States in its abstraction of greatness and purported ideals had shaped him as an individual over thirty years. He states the importance of political discourse and dictates his own views on the transformation of issues like abortion, immigration, and war which all constitute broad concerns for how the experience of being a U.S. citizen may shift in the near future. Krauthammer’s memoir attempts to grant readers a better understanding of the origin of some political issues, importantly detaching the issue from rhetoric. Importantly, the book showcases the life and accomplishments of Krauthammer despite periods of great uncertainty in his careers (i.e. between psychiatry to journalism) and his approach to all of these issues in the context of the American experience and of the freedom granted to him by his nation.