In an unbroken chain of best-selling and page-turning thrillers featuring special-ops agent Scot Harvath, Brad Thor has created a fictional universe that reflects our chaotic contemporary world.
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Enemies are everywhere and up to all sorts of evil, but there are good guys who are not only principled but even victorious most of the time. His books are also chock full of philosophizing and political and economic commentary from a “conservatarian” perspective. 2013’s ‘Hidden Order’, which revolved around attempts to assassinate nominees to head the Federal Reserve, quoted extensively from libertarian economics writer Henry Hazlitt and histories of the Fed. Thor notes that he was raised in a part-Objectivist home and exposed early and often to the works of Ayn Rand. That upbringing infuses his fiction with a love of ideas and his education at the University of Southern California with acclaimed novelist T.C. Boyle helps imbue his work with literary flourishes.
Thor’s latest book, ‘Foreign Agent’, engages the threat of extremist Islam and provocatively argues (amidst the action scenes and plot twists) that the truest form of the faith isn’t practiced by contemporary reformers but by fundamentalist Muslims and the terrorists in ISIS and Al Qaeda. A native of the Chicago area, Thor talked to Reason in his adopted hometown of Nashville. During a wide-ranging interview with Nick Gillespie, he says,
“I believe that if Mohammed came back today…and handed out trophies for who the best Muslims were, ISIS would get them. Al Qaeda would get them. They’re practicing Islam exactly the way he told them to practice it. So they’re not perverting the religion. Technically, its the people that we like, the moderate, peaceful Muslims, who are actually perverting it.”
No stranger to stirring the political pot, the “conservatarian” author also discusses his discussion with Glenn Beck about the hypothetical removal of a President Donald Trump. Thor’s #NeverTrump call to action got him in hot water with Sirius XM after a vociferous exchange last May on Glenn Beck’s radio show, with some listeners claiming he was talking about assassination (a charge Thor absolutely rebuts in this interview).
His discussion of his early development as as writer is of interest to his many fans. A writer who can turn the Federal Reserve Bank into a nail-biting thriller – as Thor did in ‘Hidden Order’ – has valuable lessons to share in the arts of espionage and storytelling.
0:36 – Who is Scot Harvath? What’s the story of ‘Foreign Agent’?
2:20 – Where does reality end and fiction begin in Thor’s writing?
6:38 – Is ‘Hidden Order’ a small-government thriller?
10:23 – ‘The Last Patriot’ and America’s long history of conflict with Islam.
15:09 – Death threats and Brad Thor’s “Salman Rushdie moment”.
16:38 – Is Islam compatible with the secular, pluralist West?
26:05 – Thor’s Objectvist/conservative/libertarian worldview and the militarization of the police.
33:45 – Thor’s formal education and development as a writer.
37:12 – Are conservatives cultural philistines?
39:09 – How travel changed Thor’s perspective.
43:26 – Views on technology, immigration, and American exceptionalism.
47:38 – Did Thor publicly advocate the assassination of president Trump?
51:10 – America has “cancer”. Hillary and Trump and terrible.
Produced by Todd Krainin. Hosted by Nick Gillespie. Cameras by Paul Detrick and Krainin.