Christopher Dawson and the Bourgeois Mind

By |2019-05-16T13:55:01-05:00March 7th, 2018|Categories: Christian Humanism, Christopher Dawson, Culture, Economics, Featured, Gerald Russello|

The bourgeois soul for Christopher Dawson is not found simply in support of the free market. The bourgeois soul is found when one puts money above God, in contrast to the religious man, who places God first… “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or [...]

Russell Kirk’s Historical Imagination

By |2016-02-12T15:28:02-06:00February 6th, 2015|Categories: Christian Humanism, Christianity, Christopher Dawson, Conservatism, Edmund Burke, Featured, Gerald Russello, Russell Kirk, T.S. Eliot|

“Our religion, our culture, and our political rights all are maintained by continuity: by the respect for the accomplishments of our forefathers, and by our concern for our posterity’s well-being.”[1] In his private library at Piety Hill, Russell Kirk devoted a large bookcase to the works of those he called “philosophical historians.” Kirk placed on [...]

Reassessing Russell Kirk: Three Critical Views

By |2021-04-28T15:36:17-05:00April 27th, 2014|Categories: Books, Conservatism, Featured, Gerald Russello, Russell Kirk, The Conservative Mind|Tags: , , |

Russell Kirk understood that politics was determined by deep cultural and intellectual influences that included the arts, literature, philosophy, religion, and community life. In short, he believed that it was not by politics alone that American and Western civilization would be restored. A Critical Biography of a Conservative Mind by James E. Person, Jr. Russell [...]

Subsidy or Subsidiarity

By |2014-06-16T13:08:39-05:00March 2nd, 2013|Categories: Books, Catholicism, Ethics, Gerald Russello|Tags: |

Individualism and community are the opposite halves of the American character. For every myth of the self-made man, there is the image of the closely knit New England small town. For every lone cowboy on the frontier, there are the social, political, and cultural groups that Americans have formed since the beginning of the Republic. [...]

Christopher Dawson: The Twofold Nature of Christian History

By |2016-08-03T10:37:18-05:00January 29th, 2013|Categories: Christendom, Christian Humanism, Christianity, Christopher Dawson, Culture, Gerald Russello, History|Tags: |

Christopher Dawson Christopher Dawson wrote with two different audiences in mind. He sought both to displace the bankrupt Victorian and Edwardian liberalism of his own day and to shake the complacency of his coreligionists who preferred to bask in the quickly fading light of false medievalism. His carefully crafted prose revealed a nuanced and original understanding [...]

Ten Conservative Books Revisited

By |2014-02-07T16:48:42-06:00January 17th, 2013|Categories: Books, Conservatism, Gerald Russello|Tags: |

In 1986, Russell Kirk gave a lecture titled “Ten Conservative Books” in which he identified ten important books that distilled or expressed conservative principles, from Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France to T. S. Eliot’s Notes Towards the Definition of Culture, the book Kirk pressed upon the hapless Richard Nixon. The essay is worth reading not only [...]

Gifts for Imaginative Conservatives: Brooklyn Speaks

By |2014-12-10T11:14:26-06:00December 9th, 2012|Categories: Books, Christmas, Gerald Russello, Gifts for Imaginative Conservatives|

I have the following suggestions for people looking for imaginatively conservative gifts this Christmas. A national treasure, Bill Kauffman is almost single-handedly rewriting the history of the American Right.  He is assuredly among the most interesting and entertaining conservative writers out there today.  I recommend starting with Ain’t My America or his amazing biography of [...]

The Quintessential Founder: John Witherspoon

By |2020-06-22T16:50:27-05:00November 29th, 2012|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Gerald Russello, John Witherspoon|Tags: |

Who remembers John Witherspoon? Although he was one of the most influential Americans of the eighteenth century, Witherspoon has been overlooked by subsequent generations of historian. John Witherspoon and the Founding of the American Republic, by Jeffry H. Morrison (220 pages, University of Notre Dame Press, 2003) Who now remembers John Witherspoon? Despite his many [...]

A Forward-Thinking Conservatism

By |2014-03-19T10:16:13-05:00November 19th, 2012|Categories: Conservatism, Gerald Russello, Russell Kirk|Tags: |

There has been much commentary concerning a David Brooks editorial that in turn cites Rod Dreher’s article on what it means to be a conservative. Both Brooks and Dreher return to Russell Kirk and his ten principles of conservatism, to define what Brooks describes as the lost half of the “conservative mind.” That half is [...]

William F. Buckley and Individualist Conservatism

By |2014-01-02T16:18:53-06:00July 11th, 2012|Categories: Books, Conservatism, Gerald Russello, William F. Buckley Jr.|Tags: |

Buckley: William F. Buckley, Jr. and the Rise of American Conservatism, by Carl T. Bogus. Bloomsbury Press, 2011. William F. Buckley, Jr. continues to stand as the representative conservative of the postwar era. Bon vivant, former CIA operative, heir to an oil fortune—not to mention best-selling writer of spy novels and founding editor of National Review, [...]

Peter Berger: Humanizing the Social Sciences

By |2014-04-02T17:12:51-05:00April 20th, 2012|Categories: Books, Gerald Russello|Tags: |

Adventures of an Accidental Sociologist: How to Explain the World Without Becoming a Bore, by Peter L. Berger. Prometheus Books, 2011. Sociology was invented in the nineteenth century by the French philosopher Auguste Comte, who envisioned a “science of society” in which religion was replaced by rationalism and the polity was ruled by experts. Comte intended the [...]

Conservatives, Politics & Culture: A Response to Claes Ryn

By |2014-01-16T17:26:22-06:00October 15th, 2011|Categories: Claes Ryn, Culture, Gerald Russello, Politics|

Claes Ryn (How Conservatives Failed ‘The Culture’) is characteristically forthright about what he sees as conservatism’s main difficulty: its neglect of the imaginative realm of culture and the arts in favor of politics. This emphasis is not only a reversal of traditional conservative priorities but is self-defeating. Ryn’s own work is a testament to what [...]

The Qual­ity of Our Imag­i­na­tions: Interview with Gary Gregg

By |2017-06-27T12:55:23-05:00March 10th, 2011|Categories: Books, Gerald Russello, Leadership, Moral Imagination, Russell Kirk|Tags: , |

We thank the University Bookman for allowing us to offer their interview with Gary L. Gregg, II, who holds the Mitch McConnell Chair in Leadership at the University of Louisville, where he directs the McConnell Center. He is the author or editor of nine books, including a new series of young adult novels called The Remnant Chronicles. On [...]

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