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Charles A. Coulombe        

Historian, Catholic Author, Lecturer

Charles A. Coulombe is one of North Americas most respected and sought-after commentators on culture, religion, history, and politics. A specialist in the history and government of the Catholic Church, Coulombes influence and expertise extend far beyond matters religious; he has written on topics ranging from the history of rum to haunted houses to a history of the United States and has lectured at universities and cultural institutions from Southern California to Oceania.

Born in New York City in 1960, Mr. Coulombe and his family soon relocated to Southern California. He was educated at parochial schools throughout Los Angeles and undertook collegiate studies at the California State University at Northridge, where he majored in Political Science, followed by studies at the New Mexico Military Institute before serving as an officer in the California Army National Guard. After a three-year stint as a stand-up comedian in Hollywood, Mr. Coulombe made his foray into literary world with the publication of his first book Everyman Today Call Rome. He has subsequently written several books, including Vicars of Christ: A History of the Popes, Haunted Places in America, Rum: The Epic Story of the Drink That Conquered the World, and The Muse in the Bottle, among many others. Coulombe's latest book is The Pope's Legion. It is a breathtaking history of the Papal Zouaves, the international volunteer force who fought in defence of the Papal States under Pope Pius IX.

Mr. Coulombe is a social and political commentator of considerable note. In 2005 he provided narration and commentary for ABC News during the funeral of Pope John Paul II and the subsequent election and installation of Pope Benedict XVI. A former journalist, Mr. Coulombe served as a film reviewer and Contributing Editor of the National Catholic Register, during which time he received the Christian Law Institute's Christ King Journalism Award. Coulombe's work has appeared in over than 20 journals, including regular columns in Fidelity (Australia), PRAG (London), Monarchy Canada, and Creole Magazine (Louisiana). He has also been a frequent contributor to such publications as Success, Catholic Twin Circle, Gnosis, FATE, and the New Oxford Review.

As an informed and passionate speaker on a wide variety of religious, social, political, historical, and literary topics, Mr. Coulombe has appeared on lecture circuits throughout the North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. In 1992 he lectured at Oxford University and the following year embarked on a lecture tour of Ireland and Great Britain, returning to Oxford and Cambridge in 1995. Coulombe has also delivered lectures at the University of Southern California on the history of Rock & Roll and at Cleveland's John Carroll University on the history of medieval monarchy. In February 2011, he was invited to take part in a debate on the abolition of the monarchy at the prestigious Oxford Union. Mr. Coulombe serves on the Grand Council of the British-based International Monarchist League. In 2011 he was featured in a BBC World Service documentary on the role and purpose of monarchy. He is a member of both the Catholic Writer's Guild of Great Britain and the Royal Stuart Society.

Coulombe is also a founding board member of the Los Angeles-based Queen of Angels Foundation, a Roman Catholic devotional society. As a child, he lived with his parents in a house owned by the TV psychic known as The Amazing Criswell, through whom he met the legendary filmmaker Edward D. Wood, Jr.

Speech Topics


Christianity and Fantasy Literature: From time to time controversy erupts amongst religious people regarding such works as Harry Potter are they Satanic? Can good Christians read such stuff, or derive any benefit out of it? A Look at Fantasy, Horror, and Science Fiction from a Christian perspective. (multimedia presentation)

A Walk Through Middle Earth: Few works of popular fiction have so captured the imagination of the public as have the Middle Earth books of J.R.R. Tolkien. Born of the authors life experiences and scholarly interests, the secondary world he created has enthralled generations of fans. Coulombe reveals the historical, cultural, and religious motifs underlying what is arguably the most influential 20th century literary oeuvre in English. He shows that, however fantastic the setting may be, Middle Earth is firmly rooted in the world that Tolkien knew and in which we live. (multimedia presentation)

culture & religion

The Pope and Politics: An exploration of the Holy See in world politics and diplomacy, and of the Catholic Church in national affairs. Does the Pope have a hidden agenda and if so, what is it? A thought-provoking look at one of the oldest and most important institutions on the planet. (multimedia presentation)

The Haunting and the Cross: From the biblical tale of the Witch of Endor to the latest movies about exorcism, the confluence between orthodox religion on the one hand, and the supernatural and occult on the other, has been endlessly fascinating. A guide into this murky realm. (multimedia presentation)

East is East and West is West: The relationship between Catholicism and Orthodoxy is a long and often painful one. What divided them? What chance is there for reunion? Is reunion even necessary for either or both? A Catholic laymans take on one of the oldest issues in Christianity.

The Holy Grail: The Quest Continues: What and where was the Holy Grail? Why was and is it so important to the Western psyche? Who sought it and did they find it? Where is it claimed to be today? We will look at medieval legends, miraculous relics, and modern archaeology to try to shed light upon this sublime mystery. (multimedia presentation)

history & politics

Europe and the Empire: A look at our mother continent from a fresh perspective. How she continues to exert a great influence on the American mind. What her true roots are and how true (or not) she has remained to them. The challenges facing Europe, their importance for the rest of the world, and possible outcomes. (multimedia presentation)

The United Nations: One-World Government or Last Best Hope of Mankind?: The United Nations System of international institutions - and other multinational groupings such as the European Union - are hailed by some as the surest path to a world of peace and freedom. Conspiracy theorists revile them as oppressive at best and harbingers of the Anti-Christ at worst. What is the truth? How does the United Nations organisation work, and what exactly does it do? Learn about the nuts and bolts of the UN, and where it might go from here.

Americans: Why we are as we are: The United States of America are the most powerful nation in the world and among the least introspective. How and why are we the way we are? Where does American Exceptionalism come from? What part does Puritanism play in our collective psyche? Learn the answers and discover yourself! (multimedia presentation)

Of Knights and Chivalry: Centuries have passed since gunpowder drove armored knights off the battlefield. Yet knightly orders survive and even thrive today. Who and what are they, and what role do they play in modern life? Did the Templars survive? What about the Freemasons and knighthood? Find out! (multimedia presentation)

Why Monarchy?: A look at the enduring appeal of the worlds oldest form of government why, in the face of an enormous amount of controversy so many around the globe are so attached to an institution which seems so terribly un-modern and how that institution has shaped the United States.

general interest

Where Has All the Chivalry Gone?: Is chivalry really dead? Where did it go? How did it once govern the relationship between the sexes? What is a gentleman and do we still need the concept? A timely look at how men could and should behave toward women.

All the Year Round: From New Years Day to New Years Eve, the American calendar is punctuated by civic and religious holidays that generate worry and expenditure, often give one a day off from work, and reflect our diverse ethnic and cultural origins and shared history. Learn about their origins and development and how to use them to keep sane in an often maddening world. (multimedia presentation)

Is There Still a War Between the Sexes?: The last five decades have seen a complete upset in gender roles. What has been positive about this? What has been lost? Why do men and women so frequently talk past each other? A humorous but informative look at the two different universes men and women inhabit.

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