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A Correspondence on Hope: Letters between a Student and a Professor

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Edward Curtin       (Page 1 of 7 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   3 comments

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Reprinted from Intrepid Report, Oct. 11, 2016

By Edward Curtin and Henry Ayles

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"When it was dark, you always carried the sun in your hand for me."

Sean O'Casey, the great Irish playwright, once wrote this on how to maintain hope in dark and dangerous times. That is the subject of the following correspondence between the two of us. One of us, Henry, is young and desperately wishing to resist a fall into cynical hopelessness. The other, Ed, is aging and continuing to rebel as he tries to be, in the words of Albert Camus, "a man who says no but whose refusal does not imply a renunciation." Each in his own way sees his face and his fate in the other's eyes. Together they are searching for sources of hope to resist the coming "plague."

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I have just finished your article on Hillary Clinton and Libya. My apologies for the delay, it has been a chaotic couple of weeks. After reading this, I have but one question for you: How do you remain hopeful?

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After being a front-line soldier in the failed cultural revolution of the 1960s, after several decades of researching the extent of the deep state's depravity and power, after exposing unspeakable evils article after article with seemingly no end in sight and no public reaction, how do you still have hope? How would anyone? It is so easy for someone like me to develop a cynical world-view after just a few semesters of amateur digging. Where do you find the strength to remain so fortified?

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Edward Curtin is a writer whose work has appeared widely. He teaches sociology at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. His website is

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