Taylor Caldwell: She Taught the World to Learn from History: As an Author, Taylor Caldwell Cut through "Cons." in Her Novels, Which Were Read by Millions, She Wove Real Political Intrigue into Fiction to Warn How the Elites Take Control

By Mass, Warren | The New American, August 19, 2013 | Go to article overview

Taylor Caldwell: She Taught the World to Learn from History: As an Author, Taylor Caldwell Cut through "Cons." in Her Novels, Which Were Read by Millions, She Wove Real Political Intrigue into Fiction to Warn How the Elites Take Control


Mass, Warren, The New American


Between 1938, with the publication of Dynasty of Death, and 1980, when her final major novel, Answer as a Man, was published, the prolific and indefatigable Taylor Caldwell would see more than 40 of her novels appear in print. During the 1960s and 1970s, Caldwell also wrote many essays, some autobiographical, for American Opinion and The Review of the News magazines (predecessors of THE NEW AMERICAN).

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In her articles for those two magazines, both of which were affiliated with The John Birch Society, Caldwell utilized her formidable writing skills to champion conservative values, including the importance of saving America's middle class, which is the backbone of our socioeconomic and political system. In contrast to George Orwell, who identified the totalitarian chieftain in 1984 as "Big Brother," Caldwell wrote, "I prefer to call Collective Tyranny in America--now so powerful--not Big Brother but Big Mommy." She gave as prime examples of "Big Mommy" in action the public .school system and the social welfare system, particularly the area now usually known as "child protective services." She recalled how her mother was an early opponent of schoolchildren being forced to submit to mandatory physical exams and vaccinations.

Caldwell recalled her British mother's reaction to the requirement imposed by her school that she submit to a medical exam:

I would go to school--without the blessing of Family
Physician, because we didn't have one and Mama thought
the very idea hilarious. "A country of weaklings she
remarked. "They'll put up with Anything. Haven't they
any gumption?"

Of course, her mother left Britain before that country became a social welfare state far worse than what had developed in America.

Wrongheaded Revolution

She also delivered her characteristically blunt condemnations of the "progressive," even revolutionary, political and social movements that were rapidly eating away at American civilization. One of the best-known (and in hindsight, perhaps the most culturally destructive) of these movements was "women's liberation" (later renamed the "feminist" movement). Caldwell took this front in the culture war head-on in her September 1970 article for American Opinion. Women's Lib." (Which was reprinted in THE NEW AMERICAN for March 16, 1987.)

In her essay, in which she correctly identified the movement as originating with the Left, Caldwell took a novel approach, condemning the movement not because it was revolutionary or subversive, but because it would ruin what she termed the "Big Con Game" perpetuated by generations of women who feigned helplessness in order to have men perform life's most strenuous jobs. And she candidly admitted being envious because she had been excluded from the con game. She wrote: "The Liberation Ladies would have just loved my Mama, who was very advanced and ultra-modern, perhaps even more than most women of today. Mama believed in rearing girls exactly as boys were reared, and no nonsense about the weaker sex and the softer yearnings in a girl's heart."

Among young Janet's (Caldwell's: given first name; Taylor was her surname) chores was hauling heavy scuttles of coal from the coal shed into the house "in the rain and the snow and the harsh winds of a British winter." (She was born in Manchester, England, to a family of hardy Scottish ancestry.)

Caldwell, being a natural-born cynic suspicious of nearly all things, suspected that the women's "liberation" movement was actually conceived by men who wished to con women out of their own con. She observed how women's magazines, such as Cosmopolitan (though she didn't mention the periodical by name), ran articles by

shrewd, sly gentlemen who proclaim a woman "has as much
'right' to do any of the world's work as men, as much
'right' to a job or a career, as much 'right' to be
head of the household." Those boys know what they're
up to: The real enslavement of women. … 

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Taylor Caldwell: She Taught the World to Learn from History: As an Author, Taylor Caldwell Cut through "Cons." in Her Novels, Which Were Read by Millions, She Wove Real Political Intrigue into Fiction to Warn How the Elites Take Control
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