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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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Long ago, The Nation had a conservative editor. Paul Elmer More edited the already venerable magazine for five years just before the First World War. On joining The Nation, More was already an entrenched conservative; indeed,...

You will need to wear your Indiana Jones fedora and stick with it, but I can promise you the big, Imaginative Conservative ending–with Russell Kirk on horseback, Christopher Dawson commanding the...

Conservatism in America, though so often defeated at the polls, always has held its head high among men of letters. And in some ways the most influential American writer of conservative instincts was Nathaniel Hawthorne, the “boned...
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Some day I shall write a book with the title The Age of Eliot. The span of Mr. T. S. Eliot’s life, extending from the ascendancy of President Cleveland and Lord Salisbury to our present troubled hour, has...
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In many American high schools, the teaching of literature is in the sere and yellow leaf. One reason for this decay is the unsatisfactory quality of many programs of...
conservatism
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Editor's Note:  The Imaginative Conservative was born on July 10, 2010, when we published our first essay, featuring a quotation by the great Russell Kirk. Since that day, we have published more than 3,400 additional...
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What Matthew Arnold called “an epoch of concentration” seems to be impending over the English-speaking world. The revolutionary impulses and the social enthusiasms which have dominated this era since their great explosion in Russia are now confronted...
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Statecraft as Soulcraft: What Government Does, by George Will. Simon and Schuster. 186 pp. Suffused with the thoughts of Burke and Tocqueville, George Will's slim book is an exhortation demanding political views imaginative...

No man of his time defended more passionately the cause of sanity and “centricity” than did G. K. Chesterton—despite his aversion to watches and his uncalculated picturesqueness of dress. Yet no imaginative writer touched more often than did Chesterton...
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There is a story, which if not true should be, that a student once regaled Russell Kirk with a listing of the different kinds of conservatism—libertarian, neo, paleo, and so on—then asked “which kind are you?”...
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Piety Hill The curtain between the world of the living and of the dead was for Russell Kirk truly thin, as evidenced in his scholarly work and in his fiction. This essay deals specifically with the...
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T.S. Eliot One hundred years ago, Thomas Steams Eliot was born into an intelligently conservative family in St. Louis. His grandfather, a Unitarian minister and a man of mark, founded the Church of the Messiah and...
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Russell Kirk’s Redeeming the Time was published posthumously in 1996. And as its title suggests, it is a book about thinking and acting in light of moral constraints that demand something of us. In fact,...
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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...