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Irving Babbitt

Irving Babbitt (August 2, 1865 – July 15, 1933) was a Harvard literary scholar and cultural thinker. Babbitt's books include; Literature and the American College (1908); In The New Laokoon (1910); The Masters of Modern French Criticism (1912); Rousseau and Romanticism (1919) & Democracy and Leadership (1924).

Seeing himself and his allies on the losing side of the war against the modern spirit, Irving Babbitt made a fierce call to arms, advocating the need for a "remnant" to preserve all that is good, true, and beautiful...

Irving Babbitt believed that man defined himself not by his rights, but by his duties, and particularly how willing he was to restrain his darker impulses and sacrifice himself for another... Famously, when Paul Elmer More and...
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Irving Babbitt wrestled with those fundamental life questions that relate to the fate of man in the modern world. What he chose to say about this world of increasing material organization continues to make Babbitt’s work and thought disturbing and unpalatable...
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Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join James Seaton as he discusses the importance of Irving Babbitt's imaginative conservatism. —W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher It is tempting to think of Irving...

Undoubtedly trying to shock many of his readers—most of whom understandably associated him with radicalism in poetry and the Bloomsbury group in London—T.S. Eliot exclaimed rather baldly in the late 1920s, “I am an Anglo-Catholic in...
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Excellence, which can be defined as the state of excelling and of surpassing merit, is now increasingly one of the lost words of the English language. And increasingly the special qualities that this word de­notes are banned in...
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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...
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Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to explore the true meaning of conservatism and how we should restore it. —W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll get knocked down by anything.”...
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Rousseau and Romanticism by Irving Babbitt (Piscataway, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1991) This reprint of the best-known work by Irving Babbitt (1865–1933) is a sturdy addition to Transaction’s Library of Conservative Thought. When it was initially...

No intellectual task could be more urgent today than refuting the pseudo-scientific distinction between ”facts” and “values” and restoring to the humanities and social sciences a sense of transcendent moral purpose. In this effort we would be...

One of western civilization’s greatest defenders in the twentieth century, Harvard University’s Irving Babbitt, founder of the New Humanism, best friend to Paul Elmer More, and the teacher of T.S. Eliot, considered it vital to read and...
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For conservative thinkers the past 15 years have been a season of self-assessment. In moods of disenchantment, anger, and even betrayal many have staked out positions differentiating their views from what today commonly passes for “conservatism.” In 2004...

As the leader of the American humanists, Irving Babbitt (1864-1933) stood solidly and forthrightly in the American conservative tradition of John Adams and Nathaniel Hawthorne and drew upon the greats of world (not merely western) civilization for...
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“In the long run democracy will be judged,” writes Irving Babbitt in Democracy and Leadership (1924), “no less than other forms of government, by the quality of its leaders, a quality that...