Melvin E. “Mel” Bradford (May 8, 1934 – March 3, 1993) was a conservative political commentator and Professor of Literature at the University of Dallas. He was the author of “A Better Guide than Reason: Federalists and Anti-Federalists”, “Original Intentions: On the Making and Ratification of the Constitution”, “Founding Fathers: Brief Life of the Framers of the Constitution”, and “The Reactionary Imperative: Essays Literary & Political.”

The Americanization of James Iredell

By |2019-05-09T10:30:25-05:00August 3rd, 2018|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Constitution, M. E. Bradford, Politics|

James Iredell’s careful apologia for the American cause—a teaching which he developed in a series of essays and public letters written from 1773-1778—clearly contains a foreshadowing of what he thought should be in a constitution for the United States… James Iredell was born at Lewes, Sussex County, England. He was the eldest of the [...]

M.E. Bradford’s Revolutionary “A Better Guide Than Reason”

By |2019-04-18T12:22:19-05:00April 30th, 2018|Categories: Agrarianism, American Founding, American Republic, Books, M. E. Bradford, South, Southern Agrarians|

No one who reads and digests A Better Guide Than Reason can fail to be revolutionized. We had thought that the great Southern political tradition—that of Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, John C. Calhoun, and the agrarians—was dead. Not so… A Better Guide Than Reason: Studies in the American Revolution by M.E. Bradford (241 pages, Sherwood Sugden & [...]

William Faulkner’s Last Words & the American Dilemma

By |2018-01-27T21:28:04-05:00January 26th, 2018|Categories: Equality, Liberty, M. E. Bradford, Rhetoric|

The lesson of William Faulkner’s “Gold Medal” speech is both in the teaching it offers and in the method we must employ to grasp that meaning. It is a work of politi­cal imagination, drawing its rhetoric from the same fountainhead as poetry… The Summer of 1971, we Americans were removed by only half a decade [...]

The Agrarianism of Richard Weaver: Beginnings & Completions

By |2018-08-25T01:08:06-05:00December 9th, 2017|Categories: Civil Society, Community, Conservatism, Featured, History, M. E. Bradford, Richard Weaver, Southern Agrarians, The Imaginative Conservative|

Richard Weaver claimed his homeland was the “last nonmaterialistic civilization in the western world.” Modernity to him meant at bottom institutionalizing most of the Seven Deadly Sins… Though his worth and stature were early established among them, while yet living Richard M. Weaver was something of a puzzle for his friends within the American [...]

The Americanization of Conservatism

By |2019-01-07T14:11:26-05:00October 25th, 2017|Categories: Constitution, Culture, Declaration of Independence, Featured, Federalist, History, M. E. Bradford, Russell Kirk, Willmoore Kendall|

We need to develop a fully American variant of conservatism; to advance our understand­ing of the conservative nature of the political traditions we have inherited; and to do so with a dignity that will permit us to stand before God, the American public, and our conservative forebears… In the next century, because of both [...]

A Fire Bell in the Night: The Southern Conservative View

By |2019-04-18T12:42:40-05:00October 11th, 2017|Categories: American Founding, Freedom, M. E. Bradford, Rights, South, The Imaginative Conservative, Thomas Jefferson|

Thomas Jefferson’s fire bell sounded in the legislative darkness, tolling the “knell” of the Union he had so much helped to shape… This momentous question, like a fire bell in the night, awakened and filled me with terror. I considered it at once as the knell of the Union. It is hushed, indeed, for the moment. But this is a reprieve [...]

At the Center of the Storm: John Sullivan of New Hampshire

By |2017-09-25T22:14:59-05:00September 25th, 2017|Categories: American Founding, M. E. Bradford, Military, Revolution, The Imaginative Conservative|

Controversy surrounds the story of John Sullivan’s life. Yet he is among the representative Americans of his time—gen­erous to a fault, jealous of his personal honor, optimistic, gregarious, ambitious, and “larger than life”… John Sullivan John Sullivan (1740-1795), lawyer, entrepreneur, soldier, and political leader of New Hampshire during and after the American [...]

The Absurdity of Modern American Theater: A Call for Rebirth

By |2018-12-07T16:40:12-05:00June 27th, 2017|Categories: Culture, Featured, Great Books, M. E. Bradford, The Imaginative Conservative, Theater|

The theater of modern America loves to shock but has overdone the trick so often that our nerves are jaded and immune to further outrage. The New York stage must be allowed to dry up and blow away, creating space for a rebirth… To act out, in concert, before an audience, an interpretation of [...]

The Last Great Englishman: Arthur Wellesley

By |2017-10-07T17:14:03-05:00June 22nd, 2017|Categories: Books, Europe, Featured, History, M. E. Bradford, The Imaginative Conservative, War|

Because he was an antique Englishman, the Iron Duke of Wellington was able to recognize his campaigns as “war to the knife” and therefore to communicate his own inflexible view of their desperate significance to the men who marched beneath his banner… The Great Duke, by Sir Arthur Bryant (William Morrow and Company, 1972). Wellington: [...]

More Freedom Than We Want: The Literature of the American West

By |2017-06-09T22:56:34-05:00June 9th, 2017|Categories: Agrarianism, Literature, M. E. Bradford, South|

The literature of the American West embodies a clear perception of the frailty of corporate freedom and of the importance of men who have learned on their own to face down the barbarian, even though no one backs their play… There are two important corporate myths that shaped the life of eighteenth and nineteenth century [...]

Ten Books That Shaped America’s Conservative Renaissance

By |2018-11-27T14:21:30-05:00March 12th, 2017|Categories: Conservatism, Economics, Edmund Burke, Eric Voegelin, Featured, Friedrich Hayek, George Nash, Ludwig von Mises, M. E. Bradford, Robert Nisbet, Russell Kirk, T.S. Eliot, The Conservative Mind, The Imaginative Conservative, Timeless Essays, Wilhelm Roepke, William F. Buckley Jr.|

Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join Jeffrey O. Nelson as he explores the books and thinkers who shaped America’s Conservative Renaissance. —W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher If a conservative order is indeed to return, we ought to know the tradition which is attached to it, so that we [...]

Dividing the House: The Gnosticism of Abraham Lincoln

By |2016-07-14T18:21:20-05:00July 14th, 2016|Categories: Abraham Lincoln, M. E. Bradford, The Imaginative Conservative|

The “House Divided Speech” is the wa­tershed of Abraham Lincoln’s political career.[56] In this address, given to the Republican state conven­tion that nominated their tall compatriot from Springfield to take the Little Giant’s place, there are no echoes of Henry Clay. It was the opening gun of Lincoln’s campaign to deprive Stephen Douglas of his [...]

The Language of Lincoln

By |2016-07-07T15:29:00-05:00July 7th, 2016|Categories: Abraham Lincoln, Language, M. E. Bradford, The Imaginative Conservative|

As a promising young centralist, Abraham Lincoln played the role of champion for what Professor Michael Oakeshott has called the “enterprise associa­tion” theory of the state.[21] While serving as the elected representative of Sangamon (1834—1842), he first made a name for himself by enacting this part. Joining with other soon-to­-be forefathers of the Republican [...]