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John Willson

John Willson
John Willson is a Senior Contributor at The Imaginative Conservative. He is professor of history emeritus, Hillsdale College. His work has been published in Modern Age, Imprimis, and the University Bookman, and he contributed to Reflections on the French Revolution. Dr. Willson is past President of the Philadelphia Society.

Meg Greenfield, the liberal (1950s style) boss of The Washington Post’s editorial page for the last quarter of the twentieth century, gave the name “The Nixon Generation” to people of her age cohort (born ca. 1928-44).  “What distinguishes...
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“Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” —Sun-tzu, ca. 400 BC; or Machiavelli, 1520 AD (maybe) —Michael Corleone, The Godfather Part II, 1974 (certainly) Forrest McDonald, the greatest historian of the era of...
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Editor's Note: Stephen Masty, a Senior Contributor to The Imaginative Conservative, passed away December 26th at the age of sixty-one. We pay tribute to him with this essay by John...
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The Conservative Heart: How to Build a Fairer, Happier, and More Prosperous America, by Arthur C. Brooks (Broadside Books, 2015) The great Elton Trueblood, who really did write about happiness, said...

The last clear memory I have of my great-uncle Atwood Putnam (yes, his ancestors were those Putnams, including “Old Wolf” Israel, but we never got any of the money—well, more about that later) was of him...
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(Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join John Willson as he examines an "economy" and what that really means. —W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher)
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I remember talking with a neighbor back in 1970 or so, telling him how my wife had written this blistering letter taking Sears, Roebuck to task for their immoral and incompetent handling of our account. He said, “That’ll...
great society
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Presidency, n. The greased pig in the field game of American politics. Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary The history of...
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Glenn Frank One of our great cultural temptations since the 1960s is to think of songsters as poets. Stephen Foster never claimed to be, nor did Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, or Oscar Hammerstein. Suddenly,...
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Brad Birzer was thinking, the other day, about intellectual refugees from Nazi Germany and other parts of Nazi-controlled Europe during the years leading up to and including World War II. He asked me if I...
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I came across this the other day, from the Washington Times: Kids flee football in light of NFL violence, Pop Warner participation plummeting. The author is Nathan Fenno, and I hasten to say that I am...
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John Lukacs and Wendell Berry This is the best introduction to the historical craft of John Lukacs. History and the Human Condition does not replace the much longer Remembered Past, a wide-ranging selection of Lukacs’s...
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Norm Abram’s little book Measure Twice, Cut Once: Lessons from a Master Carpenter (Little, Brown, 1996) is, I was about to say, a minor classic on the building arts. But I must revise that opinion. It...
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In the early 1980s, I became one of six men in the Western World who knew how to tie a bow tie, all by myself, and I did not know who the other five were. I...