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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 Kirk’s 1953 book The Conservative Mind “gave American conservatives an identity and a genealogy and catalyzed the postwar movement.”

“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...

Russell Kirk posed as one of the “canons” of conservatism the existence of orders in society. Critics have responded for decades that such a view shows that traditional conservatives are by nature aristocratic in their orientation, that they...
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Of all Russell Kirk’s books, Enemies of the Permanent Things has the oddest history. Its origins were in the Darcy Lectures that Kirk delivered at Alabama College in 1958. Over...
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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.
Russell Kirk
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Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join Ted McAllister as he examines Russell Kirk's The Conservative Mind. Dr. Kirk reminds us that not only ought we to be fighting over ideas but we ought to be shaping hearts. —W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher
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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...
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Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know. —Keats, “Ode on a Grecian Urn” These famous lines of Keats have charmed and delighted readers for two centuries, but skeptics...

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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Edmund Burke: A Genius Reconsidered by Russell Kirk (ISI Books, 2009, 2nd edition). Russell Kirk's book on Edmund Burke, first published in 1967, now revised and hand­somely re-issued, testifies not only
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Neoconservatives have garnered a fair amount of media coverage in recent weeks for their determination to keep on with the #nevertrump fight. Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard and son of neoconservative founder Irving Kristol, has been...
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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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Like many of you, I am sure, my first encounter with the term “the moral imagination” came through reading Russell Kirk. In an attempt to make better sense of...