Book Club!

Tragedy and Hope

by Not Sure

7 January 2024


                Tragedy and Hope – A History of the World in Our Time is a book written by Carroll Quigley in 1966.   You are invited to join me as I embark this month on a year-long book club with “Darin from South Africa,” with the intention of reading this book and covering its contents in a variety of ways.  Each month, we will have a short conversation about the reading we’ve done in the previous month.  Please procure a copy of the book and join our book club.

                Currently, we’re not placing a huge emphasis on the missing pages.  My copy has 1311 pages.  Copies available online claim to be uncensored and the page count is 1348.  Darin is reading a Kindle version presently.  A version I see as a PDF online has a page count of 1090 pages.  That seems like an unreliable version.  In the bibliography section of Carroll Quigley’s Wikipedia entry, there is a link to a PDF which clocks in at 1367 pages.


Many years ago, when I first read this book, I checked it out from my local library (repeatedly, until I finished it) and that volume was 1348 pages.  Keep in mind that layouts of manuscripts can change, font sizes vary, and page differences might not indicate that you are reading a redacted version.  Do try to obtain a copy that is closer to 1300 pages than 1000, and at some point, we may devote some time to what can be verified as having been censored.

                Here is a link to an interview that Carroll Quigley gave in which he discusses Macmillan Publishing Company’s suppression of the book and undermining of the marketing plan.  Macmillan had previously published Quigley’s work, but Quigley had access to the Council on Foreign Relations’ archives for more than two years, and the conclusions that he came to were obviously not authorized for general consumption.


                In trying to discover “Who Was Carroll Quigley?”, what I couldn’t find, was what most interested me.  He is described as having been born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA in 1910.  The names and occupations of his parents are not given.  From his birth, there is nothing until he appears as a student at Harvard, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts, his Master of Arts, and a PhD.  He married a young woman named Lillian Fox, and he had two children, whose names are not given on Wiki.

                Quigley died in 1977 at the age of 66, and his obituary says he was survived by his wife Lillian (an educator, who Quigley thanked in the Tragedy and Hope preface, for typing the manuscript while managing her own career and domestic duties), and two sons, Denis C. and Thomas F.

Denis Carroll Quigley died in 1982 at the age of 40 and got an inch of obituary.  He attended Landon School, a prestigious private boy’s preparatory school in Maryland, and Georgetown University.  He was survived by a wife, Elizabeth, his mother, Lillian, and his brother Thomas.  His gravestone in Marshall, Virginia reads: Denis C. Quigley, [born] May 17, 1941, [died] February 7, 1982.  “To know him was to love him.”

                Thomas Fox also attended Landon School, was an Army veteran, and later earned a zoology degree from Georgetown University.  The interest in science is not surprising, as Carroll Quigley had entered Harvard with the intention of majoring in Biochemistry.  Thomas Fox died in his Alexandria, Virginia home of a stroke at the age of 49, in 1995.  His little one paragraph obituary described him as an area construction inspector and road median painter since the 1960s.  He was twice divorced and left no survivors.

                Lillian Fox Quigley passed away in 1993 at the age of 75.

                There’s a domestic tragedy in those three obituaries that we’ll never fathom.


                Boston, Massachusetts is the cultural and financial center of New England.  Boston’s history is tied up with American History.  Puritans, Massachusetts Bay Company, Thirteen Colonies, Boston Tea Party, American Revolution.  Wikipedia describes Boston between the American Revolution and the War of 1812:


“During this period, Boston flourished culturally, as well, admired for its rarefied literary life and generous artistic patronage, with members of old Boston families—eventually dubbed Boston Brahmins—coming to be regarded as the nation's social and cultural elites. They are often associated with the American upper class, Harvard University, and the Episcopal Church.”


                Was Quigley a Boston Brahmin?  In an article entitled “The Improbable Dr. Quigley” written in 1961, we learn this:


“At the end of the two years Harvard granted Carroll Quigley a travelling fellowship to go to Europe to write as a doctoral dissertation a study of the Napoleonic public administration of the Kingdom of Italy (1805 to 1814). He took with him his nineteen-year-old bride, Lillian Fox Quigley.  In Paris they lived for five months with a French viscount and his wife, their daughter and son-in-law, the count of Brabant. Because of these connections most of their associations in France were with monarchists and nobles, a strange experience during the first “Popular Front Government."  In January 1938, they went to Milan where they stayed several months while he examined the manuscripts in the rich archives. The finished thesis, bound in three large volumes (by an Italian who embossed the author's name in gold on the cover as “Qiugley”), was delivered to Harvard by messenger.”


                Early on, Quigley had access to monarchs and nobles, and rich archives.  It’s no wonder that he ended up at Georgetown University.  Georgetown U. is a private, Catholic, Jesuit research university in Georgetown, on the outskirts of Washington D.C.


                From Wiki:


“Notable alumni include 28 Rhodes Scholars, 32 Marshall Scholars, 33 Truman Scholars, 543 Fulbright Scholars, eight living billionaires, two U.S. Supreme Court Justices, and two U.S. Presidents, as well as numerous international royalty and 14 foreign heads of state. Georgetown has produced more U.S. diplomats than any other university, as well as many members of the United States Congress, State Department, and CIA.”


                Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service was started by a Jesuit priest by the name of Edmund A. Walsh.  Notable alumni include:


Bill Clinton (Hillary’s husband.)

Alexander Haig (Secretary of State under Ronald Reagan, Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO in the 1970s.)

Carl Reiner (That’s right.  Hollywood’s Carl Reiner.)

Philip VI (Current monarch of Spain.)

Steve Bannon (Formerly of Goldman-Sachs, formerly a Hollywood producer, formerly White House chief strategist and Counselor to the President under Donald Trump.)             


                Some years after Walsh died, Roy Cohn, Joseph McCarthy’s chief counsel, who assisted McCarthy in investigations of suspected communists, claimed that Walsh was “the man whose opinion Senator Joseph McCarthy from Wisconsin had first sought before going public with allegations provided by U.S. counterintelligence that the Soviet KGB and the GRU had recruited moles throughout the U.S. Federal Government and propagandists throughout the entertainment industry.”


                Roy Cohn represented and mentored Donald Trump during his early business career.


                We think that a year spent reading and studying Tragedy and Hope will be richly rewarding.  Just look at the places the preface took me this morning.




This week’s Redux is from a talk that Alan gave January 5, 2020.


Moral High Ground for Dummies:
"Embargo and Starve Nations,
Hoping they'll Fight Back,
They Respond, They're Bombed,
They Caused You to Attack."
© Alan Watt Jan. 5, 2020


                Part of the strategy used to create confusion and ultimately mental fatigue, is to bombard people with too much useless information.  Every day, we’re given new stats of missiles launched, casualties incurred, heads of state embarrassed or indignant.  Do we pay attention to Ukraine?  Does Gaza matter?  The new variant is called what?  This overload is richly saturated with fresh nonsense from endless sources.  It’s mostly Bothersome Stuff.  If we know the names of everyone who ever thumbed a ride on the Lolita Express does it change anything?


                Here’s wishing us the bird’s eye view in 2024, and hoping the curious, the eager, the serious, and the diligent, will pick up Tragedy and Hope and join the book club.


© Not Sure


Additional reading/viewing:


Tragedy and Hope


The Improbable Dr. Quigley


Carroll Quigley interview 1974, part 1 of 5


Why Carroll Quigley Matters? - John Taylor Gatto