My grandparents both emigrated from Germany shortly after World War I. Grandma hailed from a small town on the plains of Lower Saxony, and Grandpa grew up in a smaller town in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps. Both came from large families and left behind numerous brothers and sisters and their offspring. Among my second and third cousins are small farmers, a young couple that runs a pizzeria, and a family that owns a small electronics retail and repair shop.

On a recent trip to Germany, my brother and I took a survey, asking our relatives what they thought of monetary union. The split in opinion followed predictable patterns. Those that worked for large corporations favored the euro, while those that operate their own businesses were strongly against any further euro-integration. They realize that they will be squashed by foreign imports and encroaching chains such as Pizza Hut.

During our trip, I discovered smalltown German virtue as I was joyfully welcomed into the homes of virtual strangers. I ended up in places where Catholicism is openly celebrated and the mayor had the gall to say a prayer in the local public school (and the world did not end). My observations confirmed my belief that the people behind Chronicles understand the human condition more completely than those at any other institution that I know of.

I support Chronicles and The Rockford Institute because you have opened my eyes to a world that I did not know existed. I am one of those typical Americans who graduated from college without an education—someone who tossed away religion in favor of popular culture. In fact, I made it through college without having read Shakespeare (or any other literature for that matter) and without having the slightest idea that it might be worthwhile to read Shakespeare. Because of your influence, I have now scratched the surface of this strange and exciting world. In many ways, I do not live up to the expectations I now have of myself, but with your help I at least know the right direction. In other words, I can never really pay you back.

        —Peter McGraw St. Paul, MN

P.S. I work for a large anti-family bank that is gobbling up every community bank it can find. Shortly, I will resign my position. When they ask me why, I will say that I am going home to study Latin.