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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.”
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Leave It to Beaver was very much a medieval morality play, in which the character of the Beaver repeatedly succumbed to temptation, suffered the consequences, and was guided back on the path of virtue... Russell Kirk defined...

In The Conservative Mind, Russell Kirk sought to identify, elucidate, and cultivate the best of the Western tradition as the West itself weathered, rather roughly at times, the storms of ideologies. Conserve the past, yes, but Kirk also wanted us to rally to the standards of the past...
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The university is not a center for the display of adolescent tempers, nor yet a fulcrum for turning society upside down. It is simply this: a place for the cultivation of right reason and moral imagination... Already...

When I finished The Conservative Mind for the first time, I remember thinking quite clearly that Russell Kirk had gotten so close to truth, but, then, just when he had the chance, he failed to promote freedom—the proper answer to every single thing...
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A reformed history must be imaginative and humane; like poetry, like the great novel, it must be personal rather than abstract, ethical rather than ideological. Like the poet, the historian must understand that devotion to truth is not identical with the cult of facts...
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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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Edmund Burke’s principle of order is an anticipatory refutation of utilitarianism, positivism, and pragmatism, an affirmation of that reverential view of society which may be traced through Aristotle, Cicero, Seneca, the Roman jurisconsults, the Schoolmen, Richard Hooker, and lesser thinkers. It is this; but it is more...

Abraham Lincoln never was a doctrinaire; he rose from very low estate to very high estate, and he knew the savagery which lies so close beneath the skin of man, and he knew that most men are good only out of obedience to routine and convention...

There is a divine order of being of which we must be a part. To reject this order and our part therein is to choose madness and make any decent life impossible. As a literary critic, George Panichas shed great light on the relationship between this recognition...
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Edmund Burke transcends party struggles and the questions of his hour; and, though suspicious from first to last of abstract doctrine and theoretic dogma, he will endure not for what he did, but for what he perceived... Burke and the Nature of Politics:...
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As Paul Gottfried explains in "Revisions and Dissents," the real division between right and left cuts not between finance capitalists and welfare statists, but “between those who wish to preserve inherited communities and their sources of authority and those who wish to ‘reform’ or abolish these arrangements”...
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The chief purpose of life, for any one of us, is to increase according to our capacity our knowledge of God by all the means we have, and to be moved by this knowledge to praise and thanks. What will you do?... Editor's Note: This address was...
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What Russell Kirk did was to demonstrate that intelligent conservatism was not a mere smokescreen for selfishness. It was an attitude toward life with substance and moral force of its own... Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join George Nash...
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Cultural decadence is all around us, and there is a siren call to submission. But such submission is not worthy of a free people, and we must respond with wonder and beauty, truth and goodness, philosophy and rhetoric...