The Moral Imagination -  Michael Matheson Miller
The Moral Imagination
Ep. 46 Bill Rivers: Last Summer Boys A Novel about Family, Honor, and the Power of Community

Ep. 46 Bill Rivers: Last Summer Boys A Novel about Family, Honor, and the Power of Community

In this episode of the Moral Imagination Podcast I peak with Bill Rivers about this novel, Last Summer Boys. The novel is about a rural Pennsylvania family and the adventures of three boys and a cousin and set in the tumultuous summer of 1968 with the Vietnam war, the assignations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King.  

“Summer 1968. When thirteen-year-old Jack Elliot overhears the barbershop men grousing, he devises a secret plan to keep his oldest brother, Pete, from the draft. If famous boys don’t go to war, he’ll make his brother their small town’s biggest celebrity. Jack gets unexpected help when his book-smart cousin Frankie arrives in their rural Pennsylvania town for the summer. Together, they convince Jack’s brothers to lead an expedition to find a fighter jet that crashed many winters ago―the perfect adventure to make Pete a hero.”

We discuss a number of themes including 

  • Family

  • Justice

  • Honor

  • Civil Society

  • Principle of Subsidiarity

  • Anger

  • Tensions between economic progress and family and social stability

  • Tensions between rural and urban communities

  • Writing and story development 

  • Moral imagination 

  • 1968 Cultural and Sexual Revolutions

  • Alexis de Tocqueville

  • Robert Nisbet

  • Louis L’amour 

  • Property

  • Crony capitalism, eminent domain and more 


Bill Rivers on Instagram

Bill Rivers on Twitter

Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal

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The Moral Imagination -  Michael Matheson Miller
The Moral Imagination
Welcome to the Moral Imagination Podcast.
The overarching theme of my podcast is what it means to be a human person and what makes for a meaningful and good life.
We will discuss philosophy of the human person, culture, religion, social philosophy, and many other related topics, like education, learning, economics, food, technology, artificial intelligence, and intellectual history. My goal is to interact with ideas and people whose work I find challenging, and intellectually and socially important.