There are only three chapters in David Horowitz’s brief, poignant, and gracefully written memoir, A Point in Time. But their unadorned titles convey the book’s underlying theme: “October 2006,” “November 2008,” and “December 2010.” This succession of months marks the inexorable tread of winter closing in, which is the ultimate subject of Horowitz’s book. After an extraordinarily energetic public career at the white-hot center of the era’s greatest and most passionate political and cultural controversies—a courageous and complex life filled with an outsized complement of battles, causes, conversions, enemies, and war wounds, not to mention the confusions of late 20th-century marriage and family life and the mounting array of physical infirmities that come with age—Horowitz has set down his sword and now peers out toward the unknown reaches that await him beyond the horizon of his mortality.
Horowitz brings to the task not only his characteristic intellectual vigor, but also a certain chastened skepticism that is wise enough to be skeptical of itself. Such reflexivity is expressed in the very prose, which flows with ease, shifting freely between the personal and the philosophical and then doubling back on itself. There are moments of peace, uncertainty, sadness, resignation, quiet joy. There is no rage against the dying of the light. This is no longer the enfant terrible or fierce truth-seeking missile of writings past. These are the reflections of a lion in winter.
About the Author
Wilfred M. McClay holds the SunTrust Bank Chair of Excellence in the Humanities at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He last wrote “How to Understand Rush Limbaugh” for our February issue.