Russell Kirk (1918-1994) was the author of some thirty-two books, hundreds of periodical essays, and many short stories. Both Time and Newsweek have described him as one of America’s leading thinkers, and The New York Times acknowledged the scale of his influence when in 1998 it wrote that Kirk’s 1953 book The Conservative Mind “gave American conservatives an identity and a genealogy and catalyzed the postwar movement.”

Conserving in A.D. 2020 or 499 B.C.

By |2020-07-21T17:58:07-05:00July 21st, 2020|Categories: Aristotle, Bradley J. Birzer, Cicero, Conservatism, Culture, Edmund Burke, Politics, Russell Kirk, Senior Contributors, Socrates, Thomas More|

In times of chaos, it’s profoundly necessary to remember those who have come before us and the innumerable sacrifices they made. Each of these great men, whatever his individual faults, sought to live according to the Good, the True, and the Beautiful. They preserved, and they conserved. As a way of perceiving and a [...]

The Imaginative Conservative: 10 Years of Preserving & Advancing

By |2020-07-09T15:08:59-05:00July 9th, 2020|Categories: Aristotle, Bradley J. Birzer, Cicero, Reason, Russell Kirk, Senior Contributors, The Imaginative Conservative|

What we held back in 2010 we still hold today: “The Imaginative Conservative” is not meant to be one voice, but many voices forming one voice. The ideologue and the conformist, we equally despise. We want excellence, argument, inquiry. We wish to provide, above all, a safe haven for reason and reasoned passion: We [...]

A Decade of Hope-Filled Conservatism

By |2020-09-16T11:22:27-05:00July 9th, 2020|Categories: Christianity, Cicero, Conservatism, Essential, Hope, Russell Kirk, Timeless Essays, W. Winston Elliott III|

I pray that The Imaginative Conservative offers a conservatism of thought and imagination in the hope of preserving the best of the Western tradition and restoring the virtue of our Republic. After a decade of faithful effort we continue to persevere and pray. […]

What Holds America Together? Russell Kirk’s “Roots of American Order”

By |2020-06-11T14:37:09-05:00June 13th, 2020|Categories: Books, Roots of American Order, Russell Kirk|Tags: |

Russell Kirk shows that the United States was a new thing built upon a number of very old things, and these are the roots which give it life today: the English common law, the English language, the English Reformation, the English Parliament; the Roman order and the Greek intellect, Montesquieu’s “depositary” of justice, and [...]

Teaching Russell Kirk in High School: An Interview with Miss Kinyon

By |2020-06-02T16:41:06-05:00June 2nd, 2020|Categories: David Deavel, Education, Liberal Learning, Russell Kirk, Senior Contributors|

Before entering the workforce or making a huge investment in their education, high school seniors are craving a clear, practical understanding of economics and government. Russell Kirk provides both in “The American Cause” and “Economics: Work and Prosperity.” What should high school students be reading? Many of us believe that great texts are essential [...]

Russell Kirk’s Literary Gentlemen

By |2020-04-08T16:41:39-05:00April 8th, 2020|Categories: Christianity, Fiction, Imagination, Literature, Moral Imagination, Russell Kirk|

It is no exaggeration to suggest that the idea of the gentleman stands as the lynchpin of Russell Kirk’s entire social theory. Well-educated, well-read, and virtuous, the gentleman stands as the living link between the present and the past; in many ways, he is the moral imagination embodied. After decades of neglect, the Gothic [...]

Did Edmund Burke Support the American Revolution?

By |2020-03-17T17:36:43-05:00March 17th, 2020|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, Conservatism, Declaration of Independence, Edmund Burke, History, Independence Day, Robert Nisbet, Russell Kirk, Senior Contributors|

Many conservatives have assumed that Edmund Burke was opposed to the American Revolution. It is, to my mind, an erroneous assumption. “Burke broke his agentship and went publicly silent on the American cause once war broke out,” Robert Nisbet claimed in his most definitive analysis of Edmund Burke, written and published in 1985. His [...]

The Haunting of America: Russell Kirk’s Ghostly Fiction

By |2020-03-16T09:18:18-05:00March 16th, 2020|Categories: Ancestral Shadows, Fiction, Imagination, Literature, Mystery, Russell Kirk|

The ghost story was the perfect vehicle for Russell Kirk to extend his own sense of awe-filled wonder to a wider audience. He was keenly aware of the need for romance and mystery in everyday life—and how hard it was to achieve it in America. He created for his readers one of those places [...]

The Three Conservative Burkes: Hayek, Strauss, and Kirk

By |2020-03-05T10:18:27-06:00March 5th, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Conservatism, Edmund Burke, Leo Strauss, Politics, Russell Kirk, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization, Western Tradition|

Edmund Burke was the nexus among the classical, medieval, and modern worlds, and the best answer to contemporary ideology. It is worth considering the Burke of Friedrich Hayek, Leo Strauss, and Russell Kirk in order to fully understand his importance to the rise of conservatism in academia after World War II. The somewhat radical (relatively [...]

Russell Kirk’s Beauty and Civilization

By |2020-01-31T22:18:17-06:00January 31st, 2020|Categories: Beauty, Bradley J. Birzer, Conservatism, Modernity, Religion, Russell Kirk, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization|

In the late 1950s, as Russell Kirk considered what needed to be conserved in the Western tradition as well as what needed to be discarded, he lamented that much of what the West did was “uglify.”  It had forgotten not only the necessity of beauty, but it had forgotten how to define beauty. It [...]

The Permanence of Russell Kirk

By |2019-10-14T12:29:01-05:00October 7th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christian Humanism, Conservatism, Russell Kirk, Senior Contributors, The Conservative Mind, Western Civilization, Western Tradition|

With the phenomenal success of The Conservative Mind—selling over a million copies during the three decades after its initial release—Kirk worried that “conservatism” might prove to be a hollow answer for the post-war world. Afterall, he reasoned, conservatism must, by necessity, be highly subjective, centered around a specific time and place, even while embracing [...]

Russell Kirk Reconsidered

By |2019-10-12T14:19:30-05:00October 4th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Conservatism, Russell Kirk, Senior Contributors, The Conservative Mind, Western Civilization, Western Tradition|

Russell Kirk gave voice to a myriad of persons, personalities, and ideas circulating in the decade after the Second World War, just as the West was trying to understand what it stood for, rather than what it stood against. The latter was easy. Communism and fascism were evil. But, what exactly did the West stand [...]

Russell Kirk’s Unfinished Justice

By |2019-09-22T21:27:09-05:00September 22nd, 2019|Categories: Aristotle, Bradley J. Birzer, Conservatism, History, Plato, Russell Kirk, Senior Contributors, Timeless Essays|

Russell Kirk thought that because justice is rooted in nature and because in its perfection transcends all time and space, one can innately observe virtue in the actions of wise men. Such observation of those we admire might be the best teacher in our current day, serving as a reminder of what has always [...]

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