David Frum’s journey to the White House began in Toronto. In 1975, Frum was a teenage volunteer on a provincial political campaign. The candidate belonged to the New Democratic Party, but Frum, whose political views had yet to solidify, was not supporting him out of solidarity. Frum rather signed on because he wanted to see a political race up close and his family happened to know the nominee. “The campaign’s headquarters was a 45-minute bus and subway ride from my parents’ house,” Frum wrote in the Canadian edition of his book What’s Right (1996). “I devoted the resulting reading time to a book that my mother had given me: the first volume of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago. The horror of Soviet communism burst upon me like a bomb. A kind of evangelical fervour gripped me: everybody had to know about this! (Remember, I was fourteen.)”
Frum’s encounter with Solzhenitsyn as a precocious...
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