Here is my review of Joseph Pearce’s conversion story Race With the Devil: My Journey from Racial Hatred to Rational Love
Pearce’s father had taught him to love England, the Queen, Shakespeare and everything English. A conservative wishes to conserve all that is good from the past and use it to build a positive present and a hopeful future. The elder Pearce gave his son a nostalgic and noble vision of England—the center of a great empire and the land of hope and glory. Growing up in urban London in the bleak mid-1970s, when the country was finally brought to its knees by the unemployment, inflation, and economic collapse caused by post war socialism, Joseph Pearce felt frustrated and furious at what he perceived as the destruction of England and the deprivation of the English people. Pearce’s furious activism shows how easy it is for the conservative love of country and heritage to become twisted into a xenophobic hatred of all that threatens what one loves.
Eventually Pearce was arrested for publishing The Bulldog. He was sent to jail shouting abuse at the judge, and soon became a martyr to the nationalist cause. “Free Joe Pearce” was daubed on bridges and buildings around Britain. The rebel with a cause became a cause celebre. Newspapers blazed his name in headlines as a victim of the harsh English laws suppressing freedom of speech, and when he emerged from prison he proudly returned to his paper and flouted the law by getting more engaged in his great struggle.