Richard Gamble

About Richard Gamble

Richard Gamble is Associate Professor of History and Anna Margaret Ross Alexander Chair in History and Political Science at Hillsdale College. He is the author of In Search of the City on a Hill: The Making and Unmaking of an American Myth.

To Be Unfit for the Modern World

By |2019-05-09T12:13:05-05:00September 6th, 2018|Categories: Books, Education, Evelyn Waugh, Great Books, History, Western Tradition|

The Great Tradition patiently endures, ready to speak on its own behalf, ready to challenge narrow prejudices, ready to examine those with the courage to be interrogated by it, ready to teach those who are willing to be made unfit for the modern world... The following is an excerpt from Richard Gamble, The Great Tradition: Classic [...]

The United States as World Savior: Costs & Consequences

By |2017-06-04T15:14:20-05:00June 4th, 2017|Categories: American Founding, Democracy, Foreign Affairs, Political Science Reviewer, Timeless Essays, Woodrow Wilson|

U.S. foreign policy needs to be put back into a constitutional framework, even at a time of grave threats to national security and to American lives and property… Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join Richard Gamble as he examines President Woodrow Wilson’s approach to foreign affairs compared with that of [...]

The Dangers of Diseased Patriotism

By |2017-07-08T07:42:58-05:00May 3rd, 2017|Categories: Books, Featured, Patriotism|Tags: , |

There is something more dangerous than secularism, and that is a nation-state masquerading as God incarnate… Americanism: The Fourth Great Western Religion, by David Gelernter (Doubleday, 2007) Midway through a century battered by ideological warfare, C.S. Lewis thought it unnecessary to remind anyone that “love of one’s country… becomes a demon when it becomes a [...]

The Gospel of Lincoln

By |2020-11-19T10:01:19-06:00July 1st, 2015|Categories: Abraham Lincoln, Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Featured|Tags: |

Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address has achieved a status as American Scripture equaled only by the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and Washington’s Farewell Address. In merely 271 words, the wartime president fused his epoch’s most powerful and disruptive tendencies—nationalism, democratism, and German idealism—into a civil religion indebted to the language of Christianity, but devoid of its [...]

The Backside of the Universe: Walter McDougall’s “Throes of Democracy”

By |2020-08-07T14:33:29-05:00March 19th, 2014|Categories: Books, History|Tags: , , , |

Walter McDougall’s “Throes of Democracy” shows us a more human, recog­nizable, and uncomfortable past—a more complicated past than the defenders of American pretense will ever acknowledge. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1852 novel, The Blithedale Romance, has been overshadowed for many years by The Scarlett Letter and The House of the Seven Gables. Perhaps its unsparing analysis of [...]

Reconsidering American Exceptionalism

By |2016-10-06T21:10:27-05:00October 8th, 2013|Categories: Politics|Tags: , , |

Illustration by Michael Hogue The old kept us out of conflict; the new leads to empire. In 1765, John Adams unwittingly penned one of the proof texts of American exceptionalism. “I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder,” the young lawyer wrote in his diary, “as the opening of a [...]

Resisting Ideology’s Reductionism

By |2014-03-04T16:35:05-06:00September 14th, 2012|Categories: Books, Claes Ryn, Conservatism, Ideology, Jean-Jacques Rousseau|Tags: , |

The New Jacobinism: America as Revolutionary State (2d expanded ed.) by Claes G. Ryn.  National Humanities Institute, 2011. Near the end of his Reflections on the Revolution in France, Edmund Burke praised what he called the “combining mind” as indispensable to the sort of constitutional government Britain had inherited and France was busy squandering. Erecting any sort [...]

The United States as World Savior: Costs and Consequences

By |2021-03-07T08:28:49-06:00August 3rd, 2012|Categories: American Founding, Democracy, Foreign Affairs, Political Science Reviewer, Progressivism, Woodrow Wilson|Tags: |

The Framers’ temperament was indebted far more to the inherited culture of the “old constitutional morality” than to Enlightenment fads for remaking the world. While many did indeed believe that their success or failure would affect other nations and future generations, their enthusiasm was constrained by the enduring classical and Christian tradition. On December 4, [...]

In Search of the City on a Hill

By |2014-03-24T11:34:46-05:00June 22nd, 2012|Categories: Books|Tags: |

[An excerpt from the In Search of the City on a Hill: The Making and Unmaking of an American Myth.] In popular culture, the phrase “city on a hill” has become so closely identified with Ronald Reagan and before him with John Winthrop that even Christians can forget that the words originated not with a founder [...]

Republican Virtue, Imperial Temptations, and Disorder

By |2016-08-03T10:37:35-05:00February 25th, 2012|Categories: Books, Christendom, Claes Ryn, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Politics, Republicanism|Tags: |

America the Virtuous: The Crisis of Democracy and the Quest for Empire by Claes G. Ryn Many Enlightenment ideologues hoped to see fulfilled in America all the dreams of the Age of Reason: an empire of unfettered minds, natural rights, unbounded human benevolence and progress, the first fruits of a world reborn. Impatient utopians soon despaired, however. [...]

To Become Unfit for the Modern World: The Great Tradition

By |2019-04-19T13:38:29-05:00October 25th, 2011|Categories: Books, Evelyn Waugh, Liberal Learning|

 The Great Tradition: Classic Readings on What It Means to Be an Educated Human Being , an excerpt from Richard Gamble's introduction. Evelyn Waugh’s gently satirical Scott-King’s Modern Europe follows the declining career of a classics teacher at Granchester, a fictional English public school. Granchester is “entirely respectable” but in need of a bit of modernizing, [...]

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