Editor's note: Due to a family emergency, scheduled Keynote Address author Daniel Krauthammer has regretfully postponed his Friday appearance at the Savannah Book Festival, according to a press release. SBF has announced that Chris Stirewalt, Fox News Channel’s politics editor, is now presenting the Keynote Address. The festival is working with Krauthammer to find a time for him to come to Savannah this spring for his presentation.
Charles Krauthammer was an indelible political pundit whose 30 years as a columnist for The Washington Post made him a preeminent voice in the American political landscape.
Among many notable contributions, he coined the term “Reagan Doctrine,” and while straddling the political divide, Krauthammer leaned conservative in his voice, serving as a regular contributor to Fox News alongside his writing. In late 2017, while fighting cancer, he pulled back from his column and political television commentary.
Krauthammer had been compiling his columns from over the years for a book. When he became ill, he entrusted the book to his son Daniel for completion. Charles Krauthammer passed away on June 21, 2018.
“When he was in the hospital, I was with him the whole time and helped him continue working on it in bits and spurts,” Daniel Krauthammer said. “That’s where I got my familiarity with it and what he wanted to do with it. When he knew that he wouldn’t be able to finish it himself, he entrusted it to me to finish for him. There was still quite a lot of work to be done. I went on after he passed; that was the No. 1 most important thing in my life and biggest focus.”
The finished product, “The Point of It All: A Lifetime of Great Loves and Endeavors," was published last year and contains work from the entirety of Charles Krauthammer’s career, bookended by a forward and powerful eulogy from Daniel Krauthammer.
“I went back and read essentially everything he ever wrote,” Daniel Krauthammer said. “It was almost 2,000 columnist essays and speeches he had wrote. I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I was adding some pieces, a substantial amount of pieces, and removing a few, and did some rearranging to make sure the whole book really held together.
"It covered so many topics. I think his deep philosophy and approach to life speaks throughout. I was making sure the pieces spoke to their section and topic but also connected to each other all across.”
In the pages, Daniel Krauthammer worked to preserve his father’s legacy by honing in on the specific aspects of his life philosophy. He found stories that Charles had left out to include, to make sure his voice was fully represented in the final product.
“In the more professional capacity, what he did as a writer and political commentator was bring an incredible analysis and incisiveness, but more importantly, a sense of honesty and duty to it.
"There’s a quote on the back of the book from an interview he gave. He said, 'If you don’t say what you think and don’t say it honestly, you’re betraying your whole life.' I think he really lived that, quite fully in everything he did and everything he wrote, in that sense of honesty and really not fooling around.
“If you’re going to do something, do it well, do it right and do it because you think it’s the right to do. In a way, that speaks to the second part, on the personal side, in just living as he wrote in his last column. Living the life he intended, of not living a life where you allow yourself to be defined by what happens to you, but you make life what you want it to be. You be true to yourself and try to live the life that you want to live.”