I often compare the work of my favorite non-fiction authors to more concrete experiences to describe what it’s like to read them. Reading G.K. Chesterton is like biting into a perfectly cooked steak. C.S. Lewis like being brought to the top of a high mountain to get a clear view of things that used to be too close and confusing. Ludwig von Mises is a bit like watching a chessmaster carefully surprise you with a sudden checkmate.
Whenever I tried to imagine a fantasy round table conversation with any three people then living (a neat mental exercise to see who you really admire), Professor Stephen Hawking was always first on my list. Partly because he was a rock star scientist, but mostly because he was the most uncanny real-life example of the principle of “mind over matter.”
People face all kinds of adversity, and when that adversity is imposed by other people – evils like wars, man-made famines, or even just subtle persecution in the workplace – at least the human element makes it explainable, understandable, and possibly fixable.