Ex-Convict, Catholic, and one of the best historians writing.

He is also a friend of Donald Trump and has written some superb columns about him and the current election.

Conrad Black is certainly not a transformed criminal working as a deep knowledge leader as defined by the Lampstand Foundation’s definition:

Deep knowledge is knowledge deeply embedded within the transformed criminal through the searing of experience:

  • Having been involved for ten years in the criminal world committing crimes for money and is not a pedophile, informant, rapist, or serial killer,
  • Having served five years in a maximum security federal or state prison,
  • Being ten years out of prison, off parole, crime free, and helping the community.

The sharpening of education:

  • Possessing a Master’s degree,
  • Belonging to criminal justice and nonprofit management related professional associations.

And the harmonizing of spiritual growth:

  • Being, or in the process of becoming, a leader of a community criminal transformation program,
  • Being married in a strong and committed Catholic partnership,
  • Being involved in extended self-study of Catholic social teaching with a basic knowledge of the key concepts.

However, Conrad Black is, according to his court convictions—though he has always maintained his innocence—a white collar criminal who served about three and one/half years in prison.

I had heard about him briefly during his legal troubles but it wasn’t until I read his articles about Donald Trump (whose candidacy for president I heartily support) in the New York Sun that I encountered his deep intellectual capability and grand historical perspective.

The last couple of paragraphs from one of his books are timely, extraordinary, and representative:

“The United States is a country that takes less account of corruption and hypocrisy and is more susceptible, in Napoleon’s phrase, to “lies agreed upon,” than many other prominent nations (the Europeans and Japanese, after their appalling barbarism in the twentieth century, seem to have faced and accepted their guilt and shame). The United States remains incomparably the greatest and most successful country there has ever been. And though it is vulgar, banal, slovenly, and complacent, and most of its leadership cadres have failed it, it is neither lazy nor driven by a death wish. Historically, when the United States has needed strong leadership, it has found it. It does need leadership now, and it is not easily visible in the present sea of mediocre strivers. But America is threatened only by itself, and Americans, collectively, like themselves, and the country will come round. Someone will lead it on with a new purpose more galvanizing than just borrowing for the bovine satiety of fickle appetites, in politics as in consumer goods.

“Richard Nixon was correct that only Americans can defeat and humiliate the United States, and eventually, when they see it plain and have some serious leadership again, they will recognize the impulse to self-destruction as un-American, and turn it into one of national renovation. God, Providence, fate, or the Muse have not withdrawn His or its blessing, and the Americans will return to the manifest destiny of being a sensibly motivated and even exemplary country again, long before they have forfeited to any other long-surpassed nation the preeminence in the world for which America long strove, which it richly earned, and which it has more or less majestically retained.”

Conrad Black. (2013). Flight of the Eagle: The Grand Strategies That Brought America from Colonial Dependence to World Leadership. New York/London: Encounter Books.  (p. 699)