Anthony Esolen

Read Literature to Learn and Love the Truth

By |2019-07-30T15:30:41-05:00April 22nd, 2014|Categories: Anthony Esolen, Christianity, Featured, Liberal Learning, Literature|Tags: |

The other night I testified (via telephone) before the Alaska state legislature, on the standards their public schools are adopting for classes in English. I’d read the standards but didn’t have them in front of me, so I was taken aback when one of the representatives plucked a directive out of all the verbiage and [...]

Quality Education is Not Rocket Science

By |2016-02-12T15:28:13-05:00March 16th, 2014|Categories: Anthony Esolen, Christianity, Classical Education, Education, Featured|Tags: |

Every week it seems I receive three or four letters from people who are establishing new schools or reforming old ones. These letters are most encouraging, and all of the writers, without exception, are dedicated to restoring what is called a “classical” education. Sometimes that implies the study of the true classics, the literature of [...]

Peonage for the Twenty-First Century

By |2018-12-26T14:20:01-05:00February 2nd, 2014|Categories: Anthony Esolen, Christianity, Classical Education, Common Core Curriculum, Education, Featured|Tags: |

A young man and woman arrive at the office of the town clerk to procure a marriage license. They’re all smiles, until the secretary hands them a document to sign, wherein they read this remarkable sentence: “The State, conceding to the parents the making of their children’s bodies, asserts its primacy in the making [...]

Common Core’s Substandard Writing Standards

By |2016-07-26T15:21:20-05:00November 21st, 2013|Categories: Anthony Esolen, Christianity, Common Core Curriculum, Education, Featured, History, Literature|Tags: |

I’ve donned my boots and leggings, and done what I had no desire to do. I am examining, with tedious scrutiny, the so-called Common Core Curriculum for literature and English, a new’n’improved set of standards for reading and writing in our schools from kindergarten to twelfth grade. I have read the essays, written by students, [...]

Of More Than Routine Interest: Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child

By |2016-09-05T19:02:58-05:00September 29th, 2013|Categories: Anthony Esolen, Books, Christianity|Tags: |

Here is a book that will send a reviewer—and all decent-minded readers—groping for superlatives. Indeed, I find it difficult to refrain from cluttering my review with mere rhapsodies, which might be warranted, but which do not throw much light on things. Anthony Esolen mounts a crushing and delightful riposte to the whole array of [...]

Welcome to the Mental Ward: Contradictory Values Syndrome

By |2016-07-26T15:40:03-05:00June 23rd, 2013|Categories: Anthony Esolen, Christianity, Culture, Featured, Sexuality|Tags: , |

Chesterton once wrote that the madman is not the fellow who has lost his reason, but the fellow who has lost everything but his reason. Such a person, seized by a single monomaniacal idea, loses his balance, as if under the weight of a mental hypertrophy. Because a man may add five and six, and a [...]

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization

By |2016-02-12T15:28:28-05:00March 11th, 2013|Categories: Anthony Esolen, Books, Christianity, Featured, TIC Featured Book, Western Civilization|

Featured Book: The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization by Anthony Esolen Christianity. Judaism. Dead white males. Old-fashioned morality. The traditional family. Tradition itself. These are the bêtes noires of the elites.They are the pillars of political incorrectness. Together, they constitute that thing called Western civilization. Political correctness, at its heart, is the effort to dissolve [...]

The Necessity of Stories

By |2016-10-24T10:04:43-05:00December 26th, 2012|Categories: Aeneas, Anthony Esolen, Bradley J. Birzer, Christianity, Cicero, Classics, Conservatism, John Willson, Leviathan, Western Civilization, Western Tradition|Tags: |

Last week, two of my Twitter friends (and friends of The Imaginative Conservative: @hencole and @Sir_Geechie) were happily discussing the 1965 Russell Kirk piece on Malcolm X; the one Winston graciously posted. After @henrole called it a birthday gift of sorts, @Sir_Geechie replied, “You know folks want narrative not knowledge.” I have found each of [...]

Human Dignity: What Remains?

By |2016-02-12T15:28:34-05:00December 6th, 2012|Categories: Anthony Esolen, Bradley J. Birzer, Christianity, Communism, Conservatism, Dante, Fascism, J.R.R. Tolkien, Russell Kirk, Western Civilization|Tags: |

When we survey that last 100 years in even the most cursory manner possible, the one objective and rather obvious thing that holds the century together is both the attempt to deconstruct the human person and the counter effort to uphold his dignity. Contempt and defense, seemingly in a Manichaen-like struggle. While the Gulags, [...]

Toleration and Reciprocity

By |2016-02-12T15:28:35-05:00November 12th, 2012|Categories: Anthony Esolen, Catholicism, Christianity, Featured|Tags: , |

Thomas Aquinas, practical fellow that he was, understood that not all bad things can feasibly be proscribed by human law. It isn’t because people disagree about what is bad, but rather that a well-governed polity should require few laws, easily promulgated and understood, broadly promoting the common good, wherein the lawgiver can attend to [...]

Recovering Words and Culture in the Unsociety: Anthony Esolen

By |2016-02-12T15:28:37-05:00September 11th, 2012|Categories: Anthony Esolen, Christianity, Community, Culture, Featured|Tags: |


“Where,” asks the editor, “will your town get the money to build new school rooms, and pay better salaries to more teachers? Thousands of communities are wrestling with this problem, or will soon be faced with it. We offer a suggestion.” It is really quite simple. Everyone, from the PTA to the local Rotarians, [...]

C.S. Lewis’s Aeneid, Labor Amoris

By |2016-02-12T15:28:42-05:00November 24th, 2011|Categories: Aeneid, Anthony Esolen, Books, C.S. Lewis, Christianity, Classics, Featured, Virgil|Tags: |

 C. S. Lewis’s Lost Aeneid: Arms and the Exile Every poetic translator worth our attention is, as it were, a secondary artist, one who attempts to employ his own art in order to illuminate something in the original, something he has grown to love deeply. He then is no traitor, as the overused Italian [...]

A Child’s Imagination is a Terrible Thing to Waste

By |2016-02-12T15:28:42-05:00November 23rd, 2011|Categories: Anthony Esolen, Books, Christianity|Tags: |

Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child by Anthony Esolen. “A good book is a dangerous thing….It carries within it the possibility…of cracking open the shell of routine that prevents us from seeing the world.” Anthony Esolen not only wrote these words, he wrote just such a book. As a college professor, I [...]