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Russell Kirk

Russell Kirk
Russell Kirk (1918-1994) was the author of some thirty-two books, hundreds of periodical essays, and many short stories. Both Time and Newsweek have described him as one of America’s leading thinkers, and The New York Times acknowledged the scale of his influence when in 1998 it wrote that Dr. Kirk’s 1953 book The Conservative Mind “gave American conservatives an identity and a genealogy and catalyzed the postwar movement.” Dr. Kirk's other books include The Roots of American Order, Prospects for Conservatives, Edmund Burke: A Genius Reconsidered, The Sword of Imagination, and Enemies of the Permanent Things.

“Western civilization,” “North Atlantic community,” “the unity of the free world”—such phrases are employed nowadays by our publicists and our politicians so frequently and loosely that, to a good many of us in America, the words have ceased...
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Let us now see how far the American constitution, both written and unwritten, accords with these principles; and how strongly prepared the American constitutional order may be to withstand powerful challenges in the dawning years.
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"We are at the beginning of great troubles.” Once upon a time, it was the assumption of most of the people in the world that the fundamental constitutions of their society would endure to the...

Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join Russell Kirk as he reflects on Edmund Burke's understanding of the American Revolution. —W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher Was the American War of Independence a revolution?...
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Is there such a thing as a Christian polity? T.S. Eliot raised the right questions about such matters, on the eve of the Second World War, and offered some answers; but,...
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For the conservative, the real end of economic production is to raise man above the savage level, to make possible the leisure which sustains civilization, and to free man from the condition...
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Politics being the art of the possible, I venture to suggest here the general lineaments of the kind of government which seems reasonably consonant with true human happiness. I think that in this problem we need...
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The true conservative does defend private enterprise stoutly; and one of the reasons why he cherishes it is that private enterprise is the only really practicable system, in the modern world, for satisfying...
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T.S. Eliot’s slim book about moral and immoral fiction may surprise anyone who first comes upon a copy. After Strange Gods: A Primer of Modern Heresy consists of three lectures delivered at the University of...
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Conservatism, then, is not simply the concern of the people who have a great deal of property and influence: it is a social concept important to everyone who desires equal justice and personal...
humane man
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A truly humane man is a person who knows we were not born yesterday. He is familiar with many of the great books and the great men of the past,...
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With Gratefulness to dead ancestors and the living family. Of early memories, Kirk’s most painful is his crying for water in a hospital at...
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Conservatism, as a critically held system of ideas, is younger than equalitarianism and rationalism. For philosophical conservatism begins with Edmund Burke, who erected prescription and “prejudice”—by which he meant the supra-rational wisdom of the...
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What the church is to the spirit of religion, liberal learning is to the unbought grace of life—the only means for realizing the end. Where there is no liberal learning, in the long run there is no...