Editor's Note

Angola Prison will probably always carry a mystique because it's wrapped around a violent and brutal history. For many outsiders, visiting Angola might seem like a step back to some distant past or time. It certainly evokes an imagery and language of the deepest South. But in touring Angola, one constantly becomes aware of all the newness and rebirth that surrounds what should seem hopeless. The front entrance to the massive prison grounds has a sign from Philippians 3:13, "Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead."

Burl Cain is the longest serving warden in the Louisiana prison's history. He's been an instrumental force in offering new ways to think about prison reform and moral rehabilitation. He cares about his inmates. That will be clear from this interview. Cain knows that the prison system in America is broken but he doesn't believe that inmates have to remain broken. The stories of redemption inside Angola should offer hope to us all.

"The Perfectibility Thesis – Still the Great Political Divide" by Wesley Gant is an essay about where we have been and where we are culturally, ideologically, and politically. "The perfectibility Thesis" is the great divide among political philosophers of all persuasions. If mankind is malleable and progress is merely a promise to embrace, such a responsibility must become the aim and purpose of government. But the price is nothing short of the abolition of individual sovereignty," declares Gant.

Dylan Pahman offers a thoughtful review of Just Politics by Ronald J. Sider. I review Grant's Final Victory, a great story of courage in American history. Grant battled financial ruin and raced against death to publish his memoirs. His work has been heralded as one of the greatest chronicles of war even written.

The "In the Liberal Tradition" figure is Calvin Coolidge. The 30th president of the United States of America actually cut taxes, spending, and downsized the federal government. A must read is his greatest work: "On the Occasion of the One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence." It gives clear insight into the depth of his thought about the American experiment and timeless values and virtues.

Rev. Robert Sirico talks about some of the different meanings of freedom in "Freedom and Chaos." The essay is an excerpt from Defending the Free Market. It's a powerful and poignant piece that clears up the confusion in society about freedom and helps to point us to the virtuous, prudent, and the good.

Ray Nothstine