Anthony Bottagaro is smiling.
Who could blame him? It’s an unseasonably warm and gorgeous morning in November, and he’s lined up to do a presentation for his new book at the Colorado State University Bookstore in an hour.
Bottagaro was here on Nov. 8 to speak about his new historical novel, “The Poet, the Count and the Peddler.” The novel deals with the underlying hypocrisy and corruption that exists throughout American society, but the takeaway message is a simple one.
“The underlying message of the book is unconditional love,” says Bottagaro.
In 1983, Bottagaro wrote “To Create a World More Human and More Divine.” The book won him an Angel Award for Excellence in Media and led to the creation of a documentary film adaptation that was presented to the United Nations. In 1988 he wrote another book entitled “Revolution: A Challenge of Love,” but it would be more than a decade before he wrote his latest novel.
“You stumble and fall, but you get up and keep going,” he said.
He’s been on a recent series of speaking engagements at bookstores throughout Colorado and New Mexico in order to discuss both his book and his message.
“When you get with people one on one, there’s a commonality of agreement,” said Bottagaro. “In my opinion fundamentalism and fanaticism are the cancers, because there’s a lock-out of opposing views. There really isn’t a difference between the way people receive the message. Philosophy-wise, business-wise, there’s really no difference.”
When asked whether he feels his message is relevant to students at CSU, his opinion was clear.
“I think it’s really relevant for college students. You guys have a choice,” Bottagaro said. “The world is yours. You really have an opportunity to change the world. It’s not a clich/. The question is, do you become a number when you enter the system, or realize that you’re on an equal playing field?”
It’s his core notion of universal, unconditional love that resonates the most.
“When we understand that what we’re doing effects the other person, then life changes.”
In an increasingly confusing and hostile world, Bottagaro’s ideals are a bastion of hope.
“I’m crazy enough to believe that it’s doable – that we can live in the umbrella of unconditional love.”
Staff writer Jason Moses can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The opinions expressed in this column reflect the views of the individual author and not necessarily those of the Collegian.