Whenever The Imaginative Conservative asks me for Christmas gift recommendations, I think of P.G. Wodehouse. “The first rule in buying Christmas presents,” Wodehouse wrote, “is to select something shiny.” Why? “Because the wariest person will often mistake shininess for expensiveness.”
I’d like to tell you I have a bunch of shiny gifts to recommend. But as I think even Wodehouse would agree, expensiveness (or the appearance of expensiveness) isn’t the same as thoughtfulness.
So on behalf of my colleagues at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI), I’d like to offer some ideas for thoughtful gifts for imaginative conservatives. They may not be shiny (although some do have a gloss finish), but they make great presents—and they’re affordable, too. All of these (and hundreds of others) are available to you for 50% off as part of ISI’s Christmas sale.
And as a special bonus for Imaginative Conservative readers, you’ll receive free shipping when you order more than $50 worth of books. Just enter the coupon code TIC2019 at checkout.
So here are ISI’s seven gift recommendations for imaginative conservatives:
- What So Proudly We Hail: I’ll just say it: you need this book on your bedside table. In a recent Wall Street Journal column, Peggy Noonan rightly called it “a stupendous compilation of the best things said by and to Americans.” The selections cover everyone from Nathaniel Hawthorne to Flannery O’Connor to Saul Bellow, from George Washington to Abraham Lincoln to Calvin Coolidge, from Benjamin Franklin to Irving Berlin to George Patton. Ms. Noonan said that she “opens it every night at random and always finds something valuable.” This is a gem. Don’t miss it.
- The Solzhenitsyn Reader: As Joseph Pearce wrote on this site last year, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was the rare figure who was “not only a hero but a giant.” And this book offers the perfect way to dig into the Nobel Prize–winning author’s voluminous work. In the words of the Chicago Sun-Times, “This expansive, convenient ‘greatest hits’ fills a gaping void on the shelves for those interested in dipping further into Solzhenitsyn.”
- Modern Age: Russell Kirk, guiding light for The Imaginative Conservative, founded Modern Age. Today the journal remains, as the historian Wilfred McClay says, “required reading for those who want to engage conservative thought at a high level.” In our contentious and confusing times, Modern Age exposes you to the best ideas that conservatives of all stripes are wrestling with. Read it and you’ll understand why Modern Age’s circulation has tripled in just a couple of years under editor Daniel McCarthy.
- The Divine Plan: Now a major documentary film, The Divine Plan provides “an inspiring account of the friendship between Pope John Paul II and President Ronald Reagan” (The Stream). The two leaders bonded after they nearly died from assassination attempts a mere six weeks apart. Together they committed to confronting the great evil of the twentieth century: Soviet Communism. Bestselling author Paul Kengor and coauthor Robert Orlando draw on exclusive interviews with an incredible roster of experts, including historians and biographers George Weigel, Douglas Brinkley, H.W. Brands, John O’Sullivan, and Anne Applebaum; Archbishop Timothy Dolan and Bishop Robert Barron; and Reagan advisers Dick Allen and James Rosebush.
- Conscience and Its Enemies: Everywhere you see it happening: assaults on religious liberty and traditional morality are growing fiercer. Here, at last, is the counterattack. Robby George, one of America’s most influential thinkers, explodes the myth that the secular liberal elite represents the voice of reason. Commentary calls Conscience and Its Enemies “brilliant,” and the Washington Times says you won’t find “better, or more consequential, commentary on the modern crisis.”
- J.R.R. Tolkien’s Sanctifying Myth: This book by Imaginative Conservative cofounder Bradley J. Birzer is one of the bestsellers in this year’s ISI Christmas sale. It’s easy to see why. The book is “essential reading for all Tolkien enthusiasts,” in Booklist’s words. Dr. Birzer reveals the underlying meaning of Middle-earth—religious, social, and political. Mythprint calls this book “the Catholic study of Tolkien we’ve been waiting for.”
- Conservative classics: Today there’s so much confusion and conflict that it can be hard to say what conservatism means anymore. If you’re seeking answers, it can help to return to classic books from great thinkers like Russell Kirk, Robert Nisbet, F.A. Hayek, and William F. Buckley Jr.
So there are your seven Christmas gift recommendations from ISI. I’d like to think even P.G. Wodehouse would approve.
True, in that same article, Wodehouse wrote, “My only objection to the custom of giving books as Christmas presents is perhaps the selfish one that it encourages and keeps in the game a number of writers who would be far better employed if they abandoned the pen and took to work.” But given the quality of these works, there’s little doubt that the authors have chosen the right profession.
Remember, every book in the ISI store is 50% off for the holidays. So have fun browsing.
Even if you have finished your Christmas shopping, you can always add to your own library! Here you have an easy and affordable way to do so—especially if you take advantage of the free-shipping offer. Remember to enter the discount code TIC2019 at checkout when you order more than $50 worth of books.
Merry Christmas from all of us at ISI. And happy reading!
The Imaginative Conservative applies the principle of appreciation to the discussion of culture and politics—we approach dialogue with magnanimity rather than with mere civility. Will you help us remain a refreshing oasis in the increasingly contentious arena of modern discourse? Please consider donating now.
The featured image is a photograph by Louisa Maljers, courtesy of Unsplash.