book by Elizabeth C. Shaw.
On the occasion of his eightieth birthday, friends and colleagues of Michael Novak assembled at Ave Maria University for a conference honoring his life's work. The essays in this collection are the fruits of that event, and together they demonstrate the unity of Novak's career. As Novak expounds in his masterpiece The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism (1982), the free society requires robust interplay of three systems: political, economic, and moral/cultural. The political system is the democratic republic that guards the liberties of citizens and upholds the rule of law. The economic system of markets and free enterprise is one fueled by the "human capital" of ideas, creativity, and hard work. Finally, the moral/cultural system instills crucial virtues such as courage, honesty, and nobility of soul. An American and Catholic Life reflects on a variety of issues and themes germane to these three systems, which constitute the life of the free society.