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Gleaves Whitney

Gleaves Whitney
Gleaves Whitney is a Senior Contributor at The Imaginative Conservative. He is the director of Grand Valley State University’s Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies. Mr. Whitney has written, edited, or contributed to several books, including John Engler: The Man, the Leader & the Legacy, American Presidents: Farewell Messages to the Nation, and the revised edition of Russell Kirk’s The American Cause.
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Ideologues have been manipulating the idea of equality for two centuries now. Still, it is equality that has provided the dynamism, the moving force that has energized modern history. The great liberal and leftist revolutions of the past two centuries have all been made in the name...
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Because the Civil War is the American Iliad, it is constantly being refought in the public memory. Much is at stake, for myths make meaning, meaning makes politics, and politics make myths... Jesse Jackson made a...
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In the process of revitalizing Britain's governing principles, the American founding also unleashed the ideas of liberty and equality to an unexpected degree... A heavy overcast settled over the Huron Valley. Expecting snow at any moment, I...
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"You cannot assume your personal opinions are the truth. This is why we study history: to use the slashing blade of reason like a machete to hack through the dark jungle of false opinion until we see the light of truth"...
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Lord Acton is the prophet who foresaw our times. He anticipated the dangers of statism. But ironically he is now a setting star—passé and remote. This, it must be said, is a tragedy of his own making. It’s a mystery why he never wrote his planned magnum...
hone gritty
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My first conversation with Stephen Tonsor occurred on a mid-April morning in 1987. Already we were talking about a great nineteenth-century historian, the first principles of a European Liberal, and what it all meant to an American conservative...
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Was it coincidence? Fate? Providence? I could not know what it meant at the time. Yet September 27, 1986, would be my first encounter with the mind of Stephen Tonsor... Author's Note: At the start of a new academic...

True to principle, George Washington relinquished the power that was his for the taking. Why don’t more American children know that?... People ask why a few of us presidential junkies would like...
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Presidential farewells constitute a great American conversation among the nation’s chief executives and open our view onto a large and detailed panorama of the past... Farewell, Mr. President Tonight, Tuesday, January 10, 2017, Barack Obama will deliver...

The lack of schooling in the formation of one of every four U.S. presidents underscores the paradox that even the most humble among them were often great champions of education in general and of the liberal arts in particular...
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In 2016 Americans are feeling anxious. It’s not that we are experiencing crises—we are neither in total war nor economic depression. Yet 2016 has forced us to rethink all we thought we knew. A Socialist made a credible...
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Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to fight the battle with modernity, as we journey with Gleaves Whitney in his exploration of Russell Kirk's vision of the imagination. —W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher
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Professor Stephen Tonsor Back in the 1980s, when I told a friend that I was doing graduate work in history at Michigan, he looked surprised: “But you are conservative, and there aren’t any conservatives...

Speaking about The Conservative Mind on the book's sixtieth anniversary, Gleaves Whitney explains why Russell Kirk chose Edmund Burke as his book's central figure. Kirk believed that Burke understood the fragility of civilization and knew that free peoples will have both parties of innovation and conservation. How our culture appropriately...