Avatar

About M.E. Bradford

Melvin E. "Mel" Bradford (1934–1993) was a conservative political commentator and Professor of Literature at the University of Dallas. He was the author of A Better Guide than Reason: Federalists and Anti-Federalists, Original Intentions: On the Making and Ratification of the Constitution, Founding Fathers: Brief Life of the Framers of the Constitution, and The Reactionary Imperative: Essays Literary & Political.

A Better Guide than Reason: The Politics of John Dickinson

By |2016-11-16T08:17:44-05:00October 28th, 2015|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Christendom, Featured, John Dickinson, M. E. Bradford|Tags: |

Of all the men significantly involved in the major events leading up to and following from the American Revolution none has been so undeservedly neglected by our political historians as the mysterious John Dickinson. The oversight would seem on its face unlikely. For this planter and prototypical Philadelphia lawyer is as complicated and intellectually [...]

A Teaching for Americans: Roman History and the Republic’s First Identity

By |2019-04-30T14:15:56-05:00October 19th, 2015|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Featured, History, M. E. Bradford, Republicanism, Rome, Timeless Essays|

Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join M.E. Bradford as he examines Roman history and the American founding. —W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher The Federal District of Columbia, both in its formal character as a capital and also in its self-conscious attempt at a certain visual splendor, is, [...]

Conservatives and the Problems of Language: Rhetoric and Respectability

By |2016-04-15T10:03:55-05:00November 22nd, 2013|Categories: Conservatism, Language, M. E. Bradford, Rhetoric|Tags: |

Conservatives have struggled with the problem of adjusting their public posture so as to reflect changes in their situation. Following electoral triumph and the dramatic shift in the temper of their countrymen which produced so many encouraging results at the polls, they have been obliged to represent themselves, through the spoken or the written [...]

Artists at Home: Frost and Faulkner

By |2016-08-03T10:37:25-05:00September 4th, 2012|Categories: Christendom, Featured, Literature, M. E. Bradford, Robert Frost, South|Tags: |

M.E. Bradford It is a paradox of our times that close observers of the American literary scene residing beyond our borders receive, from the self-appointed guardians of “high” culture and the life of the mind within this country, so little really useful direction or assistance in identifying what American writing is worthwhile [...]

The Declaration of Independence & the Kendall Thesis

By |2019-04-23T16:08:03-05:00August 14th, 2012|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Featured, M. E. Bradford, Willmoore Kendall|Tags: |

Our collective confusion about the American experience begins at the beginning. Most Americans who think about such questions imagine that they understand the Declaration of Independence, though many of them may be puzzled that it did not (and does not) produce the results one might expect from the commitments which they believe it makes. [...]

A Proper Patrimony: Russell Kirk and America’s Moral Genealogy

By |2016-04-15T10:03:56-05:00August 6th, 2012|Categories: Books, M. E. Bradford, Roots of American Order, Russell Kirk|Tags: |

The Roots of American Order, by Russell Kirk It is nowadays the fashion to think of these United States as a wholly “invented” polity, as the pure and miraculous handiwork of those gifted political craftsmen who were our honored forefathers and whose high achievements we celebrate during this commemorative year. It is also the [...]

The Baleful Comet of Boston: Samuel Adams & the Puritan Republic

By |2018-09-24T14:23:07-05:00June 13th, 2012|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, M. E. Bradford, Samuel Adams|Tags: |

Samuel Adams (September 27, 1722-October 2, 1803), the political "boss" of the Boston town meeting, maltster, tax collector, essayist, Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Articles of Confederation, leader of the Continental Congress, and a great influence over the public life of Massachusetts during the early years of the Republic. Called by Thomas Jefferson [...]

The Household Gods of Freedom

By |2016-05-11T12:02:32-05:00May 31st, 2012|Categories: American Republic, Books, John Randolph of Roanoke, M. E. Bradford, Russell Kirk|Tags: |

John Randolph of Roanoke: A Study in American Politics, by Russell Kirk. For Southerners of my antique persuasion, Russell Kirk’s John Randolph of Roanoke is a locus classicus. And for most American conservatives, it is a work of decisive importance, a path leading into a neglected portion of our common patrimony, a portion now not [...]

A Teaching for Republicans: Roman History and the Nation’s First Identity

By |2019-05-02T12:29:51-05:00May 7th, 2012|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, M. E. Bradford, Republicanism, Rome|Tags: |

The Federal District of Columbia, both in its formal character as a capital and also in its self-conscious attempt at a certain visual splendor, is, for every visitor from the somewhat sovereign states, a reminder that the analogy of ancient Rome had a formative effect upon those who conceived and designed it as their [...]

Calhoun: The Oracle of the South

By |2016-04-15T10:03:58-05:00February 26th, 2012|Categories: Books, John C. Calhoun, M. E. Bradford, South|Tags: |

The Essential Calhoun: Selections from Writings, Speeches, and Letters. Edited with an Introduction by Clyde Wilson. Foreword by Russell Kirk. The contemporary academic interpretation of John Caldwell Calhoun is like the contemporary academic response to anything and anyone thoroughly and unmistakably Southern: a politically correct caricature, both as to motives and with regard to the meaning [...]

The Older Rhetoric Revisited: Hugh Blair and the Public Virtue of Style

By |2016-04-15T10:03:58-05:00July 26th, 2011|Categories: Books, Culture, M. E. Bradford, South|Tags: |

Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres, by Hugh Blair. Edited with a Critical Introduction by Harold F. Harding. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1965. Two Vols., 496 and 566 pp.  One of the most successful of all nineteenth-century textbooks was Hugh Blair’s weighty Rhetoric. Between 1783 (the date of their first publication) and 1911 [...]