Books

1 31

In literary terms, Gothic typically refers to that frame of mind and soul that embraces the strange, the mysterious, and the irrational—specifically, terror. Gothic novels are often set in the dark and in the wild. This is...
1 65

There can be no question of the signal importance and influence of The Closing of the American Mind. Any future historian who proposes to explain the “culture wars” of the 1980s and...
1 72

"Socrates is setting the bar for political rhetoric very high. He is demanding not only that a politician not pander to the crowd but that he go to the opposite extreme to discipline it....
4 152

Unlike the first two British dystopian writers, George Orwell was a colonial, born in India in 1903. He entered the world as Eric Arthur Blair, but later adopted and wrote under the pseudonym of Orwell. Having experienced...
2 99

 America's British Culture, by Russell Kirk. (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction Publishers, 1994). Russell Kirk, who had been called the father of the modem American conservative movement, died in April 1994. Best known for his impressive contribution to Anglo-American...
8 211

The other brilliant dystopian of this early period, Aldous Huxley, also came from a prominent British family. The great grandson of T.H. Huxley on his father’s side and the grand nephew of Matthew Arnold on his...
9 278

Several months ago I lamented that a normally astute conservative commentator had dismissed Hilaire Belloc’s classic work, The Servile State, as being “strikingly similar” to The Communist Manifesto. Although such a...
0 62

Conditions of Liberty: Civil Society and Its Rivals by Ernest Gellner The existence of individual liberty as it is known in the western world is, according to the eminent social anthropologist Ernest Gellner, conditional...
2 162

Milton’s Paradise Lost is a poem of such panoramic grandeur and such human acuteness as may wean one—and has even weaned me—from a lifelong exclusive Homerophilia. Partly its attraction is that it is...
3 157

The Great Debate: Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the Birth of Right and Left by Yuval Levin, Basic Books, 2014 Those seeking a deeper understanding of the roots of contemporary political debates, with all their recriminations and...
5 190

The first great dystopian writers of the twentieth century came from upstanding British families. Arguably the first twentieth-century dystopian, Robert Hugh Benson was the third son of E.W. Benson, the Archbishop of Canterbury (1882-1896). Following the wishes of...
1 155

The field of "Tolkien studies" continues to evolve. The book based on the Exeter College conference, Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings: Sources of Inspiration, is still available and remains one of the most interesting...
3 253

A culture cannot survive without a religion, at least not for long. A culture derives from the cultus, the group of people, usually based on kinship ties, who banded together to worship the same deity or deities. Once a common...
6 253

One of Russell Kirk’s many strengths came from his uncanny ability to criticize the culture but to do so as one in and among the very culture he criticized. And, when he did criticize, he did...