Had John Aroutiounian lived, he would have been a great political essayist. A graduate of Yale, where he was the speaker of the Yale Political Union (as a member of the Federalist Party), he was a student at Columbia Law School when he died of an aggressive cancer in 2019. The Abigail Adams Institute and Cluny Media have now published a posthumous collection of his writings, Finding Gold in the Dark: Reflections on Modern America, Virtue, and Faith, which display remarkable wit, insight, and eloquence, especially for so young a person. Worth reading. Here is the publisher’s description:
“A true citizen must always consider how he shall make the most of the existing materials of his country–each tradition is a potential treasure and the past is filled with gifts.”
These are not the words of some eminent statesman with the wisdom of years at his disposal; nay, they are the words of a young man but twenty-one years of age, given to a gathering at Yale University. For John Aroutiounian, fidelity to truth, elegance in style, and brilliance in wit and humor went hand in hand, as this collection of his writings so aptly shows. A prolific essayist, John wrote scores of pieces over the course of his life, engaging on matters of faith and culture, national identity and political discourse, societal disparity and religious persuasions—always, in sundry fashion, in light of the Armenian Orthodox and Roman Catholic traditions. Finding Gold in the Dark: Reflections on Modern America, Virtue, and Faith is a testament to this fact: the reflections of a conscientious, principled gentleman on the realities and aspirations of his time.