When did you start writing?
As a teenager. I discovered that I had a thing for telling captivating stories. We were also a gang of teenage boys playing Dungeons & Dragons and I quickly ended up not only leading the games but writing my own adventures. That helped me develop my “plot feeling” even if I never published them.
How do you deal with poor reviews?
As a writer of political history telling blunt truths, I know that some reviews will be negative disregarding how good my books and articles are, so I have learned just to laugh at them.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
Radical Betrayal will be my third. I have also contributed chapters to three or four anthologies. This is the one I have the greatest expectations of will make a splash in the meaning of creating debate, but, of course, your first book – in my case a political history of Sweden – is special for any author, so that will probably forever be my favorite.
What is the key theme and/or message in the book?
That ideologues, including many modern US Presidents, have twisted the meaning of American Exceptionalism, turning it into a rhetorical tool for a federal nanny state and war-mongering
What do you hope your readers take away from this book?
That they grasp that the story about America they have been told by the US educational system, from preschools to universities, and the media is flawed, biased, and intellectually and ideologically corrupt.
What is the significance of the title?
Radical Betrayal infers that radicals on the left and the right have warped the meaning of American Exceptionalism so badly that it not only has led to the creation of a federal welfare state and wars but also no longer functions as a “glue” holding the US together. Today, due to liberal and neoconservative abuse of exceptionalist notions, America is on the verge of splinting into two, three, or more states.
How many plot ideas are just waiting to be written? Can you tell us about one?
I don’t come up with plots, I just write about real political and historical ones. But, if meaning themes for future books, I have dozens. At least. What I really want to start working on after Radical Betrayal is though a book on human nature’s impact upon historical, political developments. In my head, I call it Nature, Culture, and Politics, but I must to come up with something sexier if I get along publishing it.
What book is currently on your bedside table?
I have three. One on the 30-Year War, one on Medieval Europe, and one about Biblical archeology.
Who is the author you most admire in your genre?
When it comes to American History, David McCullough, no doubt. He was incredible. In other areas, I really enjoy reading Tom Holland, Thomas Sowell, Charles Murray, Steven Pinker… Every genre has its masters, so it’s practically impossible to choose just one!
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Spend time with my wife. And when she’s occupied, bicycling downtown in our little Florida town and having a couple of beers with good friends.
Excerpt from Radical Betrayal:
All societies have people deciding which ideas, values, and mores should (not) be shared in public. Such “gatekeepers” historically formed tiny cliques of government officials and religious leaders. However, in the 1700s, philosophers, academics, and others began to join the group. In time, the archetype of this extended gatekeeper gang became The Editor, deciding what should be printed in tomorrow’s newspaper.
Moreover, from the mid-to-late 1800s, nearly all gatekeepers through academic studies became schooled in the positivist-technocratic mindset of the era. And after World War II, as the group was expanded by new scores of administrators, lawyers, engineers, professors, teachers, and others, it swelled into what some scholars have called a New Class, or what’s today often talked about as ‘the deep state.”
Next to pre-Civil War plantation owners, this became the closest America has ever been to having an actual leisure class. Its members also see themselves as the modern embodiment of the Founding Fathers’ natural aristocracy. However, unlike the Founders, they became guided not by tradition, religion, and common sense but by radical ideas and abstract theories, often of foreign origin.