My Famous Dead People Dinner Party Guest List

If there is a land of dead interesting people out there, you can bet I’ll be hosting a fascinating dinner party the first week I’ll get there.

Here’s who I would invite, and why:

  1. Ayn Rand – get to know her warm + fuzzy center, discuss Objectivist spirituality (this latter idea borrowed from a friend)
  2. Jesus – get him to explain how to love + yet change the world, explain how almost all of us have misunderstood and mistaken him
  3. Dietrich Bonhoeffer – discuss what a post-deconstruction Christianity looks like, tell stories of how he maintained Christian love while resisting evil
  4. C.S. Lewis – get his “books every young man should read” list, get writing tips, swap stories w/ atheism and religion
  5. Viktor Frankl – listen and learn, do logotherapy
  6. Albert Jay Nock – get his ideas on how the current generation can resist authoritarianism and collectivism with panache
  7. Ludwig von Mises – discuss the intersection of ethics and the logic of human action, hear his stories from resisting socialism + fascism
  8. St. Francis of Assisi – learn how to find joy in a live of forgiveness and peacemaking
  9. Friedrich Hayek – geek out over how price systems work, discuss how to live with the balance of tradition and change
  10. Jane Austen – get writing + characterization tips, engage in witty repartee and people-observation
  11. Christopher Hitchens – get writing and public speaking tips, thank him for his honest critiques, learn how to not become bitter while fighting a long battle
  12. Guy Clark – get some Texas wisdom on how to write songs that cut to the bone
  13. J.R.R. Tolkien – ask all of my questions about the Lord of the Rings universe + unfinished stories, learn his process so I can build my own

Who are your people? Would love to see your wish list in the comments!

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James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, intellectual explorer, and perpetual apprentice. He opted out of college to join the Praxis startup apprenticeship program and currently manages marketing and communications at bitcoin payment technology company BitPay. He writes daily at