Before there was Trump, there was Father Coughlin. Before there were the likes of Steve Schwarzman, Jared Kushner, Mitch McConnell, and their lot, there was Vidkun Quisling. And before there was Florida—a warm-weather bolt-hole for miscreants on the lam—there was Paraguay.
I had heard of Father Coughlin when I first came to America, in the late 1970s, but I didn’t know a great deal about him until I read Wallace Stegner’s profile of him in The Aspirin Age. The book was a collection of essays published in 1949 that sought to tell the story of America between the two World Wars. The Aspirin Age is sadly out of print. But a slightly abridged version of Stegner’s superb portrait of Coughlin is included in this week’s issue, a little further down.