Miles Smith

Miles Smith

About Miles Smith

Miles Smith IV is a visiting assistant professor at Hillsdale College and a historian of the Old South and Atlantic World. He took his BA from the College of Charleston and holds a PhD in History from Texas Christian University. He is a native of Salisbury, North Carolina.

A Reflection on the Resurrection of the Superfluous Man

By |2019-12-07T03:11:19-06:00December 6th, 2019|Categories: Character, Fiction, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Imagination, Literature, Russia|

Russia’s nineteenth-century literary luminaries all found themselves wrestling with a particularly Romantic archetype: the Superfluous Man. Bored, confused, dissolute, yet noble and aristocratic, the Superfluous Man experiences tragedy in his reckless pursuit of passion. And I can’t help but wonder whether there is any hope for these characters—both the Russians in the novels, and [...]

A Conservative Reclaims the Sea

By |2019-10-16T14:00:07-06:00May 8th, 2018|Categories: Conservatism, Culture, History, Nature|

Seashore towns once played the same conservative role as American farms did, but by the end of the twentieth century, man took to coercing nature in order to protect his ocean playground… The Atlantic and Pacific Coasts of the United States serve as a home to the Union’s great cities and to a majority [...]

Misunderstanding John C. Calhoun’s Federalism

By |2019-04-30T16:47:09-06:00February 15th, 2017|Categories: Constitution, Electoral College, Featured, Federalism, History, John C. Calhoun|

Far from feeding disunion, John C. Calhoun understood that a more perfect Union listened to the representative voices of the states, rather than the despotic voice of the “nation” represented in the federal Congress… I recently read two essays: one bemoaning the electoral college, and another explaining that Yale University was considering renaming Calhoun [...]

The Problem of a “Conservative” Lincoln

By |2016-07-27T13:38:42-06:00July 26th, 2016|Categories: Abraham Lincoln, Books, Family, History|

Shoppers looking for presents at large American book stores have been greeted by a plethora of biographies on Abraham Lincoln recently. Three books have added to the already behemoth historiography of the sixteenth president: Richard Brookhiser’s beautifully written Founders’ Son, Harold Holzer and Norton Garfinkle’s polemical A Just and Generous Nation, and Sidney Blumenthal’s Self [...]

The Conversion of John Randolph

By |2019-05-16T13:39:44-06:00July 9th, 2016|Categories: Christianity, John Randolph of Roanoke|

He was raised in an orthodox Christian home. He lived in a conservative place, around people who identified as traditionalists. But as Christianity waned in his day, he embraced new vogues. He despised, or air least scorned, traditional Christian orthodoxy and orthopraxy. Few who knew him would ever imagine him embracing the tenets of [...]

Green Fields and Green Woods: James Kirke Paulding as a Placed Northern Man

By |2015-07-07T14:58:00-06:00July 7th, 2015|Categories: Community, Equality, History, Tradition|

  On April 10, 1852, James Kirke Paulding—literary New Yorker and former Secretary of the Navy—wrote a letter to South Carolinian Joseph Starke Sims. Paulding maintained excellent relationships with southerners (and northerners) his whole life. Paulding corresponded with many southern luminaries during the antebellum period on politics, society, and various other areas where Paulding’s erudition [...]

Hail Columbia, Happy Land: An Evangelical Southerner in Nineteenth-Century Europe

By |2019-02-28T12:38:46-06:00December 15th, 2014|Categories: Catholicism, Christendom, Europe, History|

With the publication of I’ll Take My Stand in 1930 the southern conservative intellectual tradition definitively entered into consciousness of the American academy and the American literati. Noted historians, novelists, and poets made their case unequivocally. The apocalyptic moment that triggered this movement’s self-awareness, the Civil War, remained in the words of Robert Penn [...]

“A War of Righteousness”: The Disillusionment of Ernest Hemingway

By |2019-07-16T20:44:08-06:00November 17th, 2014|Categories: Catholicism, Progressivism, Woodrow Wilson, World War I|

When the United States entered World War I in 1917, President Woodrow Wilson breathed a sigh of relief. A passionate progressive and Presbyterian elder committed to using the United States to change the world, Wilson confidently told Congress that American involvement and a potential victory of the Entente (Britain, France, and Russia) would make [...]

Russell Kirk and the South

By |2014-09-15T10:59:16-06:00September 15th, 2014|Categories: Conservatism, Russell Kirk, South, Southern Agrarians|

When Russell Kirk published The Conservative Mind in 1953, he included among the pantheon of conservatives in the United States John C. Calhoun and John Randolph of Roanoke. He chose not to call them simply slaveholding American conservatives or conservatives in the South, but instead “Southern Conservatives.” Kirk rejected the notion that southerners were [...]