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The State of American Liberal Education These Days

By |2014-03-19T17:37:58-06:00January 4th, 2013|Categories: Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy, Democracy in America, Liberal Learning, Peter A. Lawler|Tags: |

What are the ends of education? We mean, of course, the ends for us, for us democratic Americans. So we begin with the best book ever written on democracy and the best book ever written on America—Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. America, Tocqueville noticed, is an overwhelmingly middle-class country. To be middle class, [...]

A Forward-Thinking Conservatism

By |2014-03-19T10:16:13-06:00November 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 [...]

Mistaken Identities: America’s British Culture

By |2014-08-19T12:13:52-06:00November 10th, 2012|Categories: Books, Culture, Russell Kirk|Tags: |

America’s British Culture by Russell Kirk The “identity crisis” is a relatively recent development of human psychology. Most people in history were what they were, and they didn’t bother overmuch to wonder what that was. Freud undermined this taken-for-grantedness when he taught that the Self was not a fixed essence but the mutable effect [...]

Virtue: The Anatomy of the Good

By |2013-12-26T17:50:08-06:00October 26th, 2012|Categories: Books, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Virtue|Tags: |

Putting on Virtue: The Legacy of the Splendid Vices by Jennifer A. Herdt. [2008] 2012. “’Tis hard to believe,” wrote Michel de Montaigne in his essay “On Virtue,” “that these so elevated qualities in a man can so thoroughly tinct and imbue the soul that they should become ordinary, and, as it were, natural [...]

Democracy and Leadership: An American Classic

By |2015-02-17T22:41:16-06:00October 18th, 2012|Categories: Books, Claes Ryn, Irving Babbitt, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Leadership, Politics|Tags: |

Democracy and Leadership by Irving Babbitt. Foreword by Russell Kirk, Liberty Classics, 1979, 390 pp. The appearance of a new edition of Irving Babbitt’s Democracy and Leadership (first published in 1924) is one sign among many that interest in this controversial thinker is growing markedly. Several scholarly studies related to his work have been [...]

Scalia the Originalist

By |2013-12-12T14:43:26-06:00October 16th, 2012|Categories: Constitution, Supreme Court|Tags: |

Scalia Dissents: Writings of the Supreme Court’s Wittiest, Most Outspoken Justice edited and with commentary by Kevin A. Ring. The Opinions of Justice Antonin Scalia: The Caustic Conservative edited and with commentary by Paul I. Weizer. Justice Antonin Scalia has established himself as the foremost defender of the constitutional orthodoxy of originalism—in particular, of [...]

The Founders and Faith: None of the Above

By |2014-03-26T17:03:16-06:00October 11th, 2012|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Books, Religion|Tags: |

The Religious Beliefs of America’s Founders: Reason, Revelation, Revolution, by Gregg L. Frazer The religious views of America’s founders have been fiercely contested in the public arena for many years. The principal battle is between those who claim that most founders were devout Christians and those who assert that they were deists. This debate has [...]

Redeeming the Time

By |2014-06-06T15:07:32-06:00October 2nd, 2012|Categories: Books, Russell Kirk|Tags: , |

Redeeming the Time by Russell Kirk This posthumously published collection of Russell Kirk’s essays once again reminds us of the extent of our loss. For in addition to an enviable erudition and a penchant for identifying essential issues, theoretical and practical, he was a great teacher. Never talking down to his readers, he displayed [...]

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 [...]

Oliver Ellsworth: Forgotten Name, Enduring Legacy

By |2013-11-25T15:26:02-06:00August 29th, 2012|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Books|Tags: , |

Founding Federalist: The Life of Oliver Ellsworth by Michael C. Toth When American schoolchildren study the Constitutional Convention, they typically learn a few names—Madison, Randolph, Patterson, Washington—and few main events—the formation of the legislature, the Three-Fifths Compromise, and the creation of the presidency. The first event is usually called “The Great Compromise” that melded [...]

T.S. Eliot: The Light Invisible

By |2015-04-25T23:44:32-06:00August 21st, 2012|Categories: Benjamin Lockerd, Books, Featured, Literature, T.S. Eliot|Tags: |

T. S. Eliot
 (Longman Critical Readers Series) 
edited and introduced by Harriet Davidson.

) The current dominance of postmodern literary theory in the Academy may be illustrated by an experience of mine at the relatively conservative institution where I teach. Some years ago, I was examining the course materials of a new colleague who was [...]

America Is Hard to See: The American Republic

By |2014-01-18T16:15:06-06:00August 1st, 2012|Categories: Books, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Peter Stanlis|Tags: |

The American Republic: Its Constitution, Tendencies, and Destiny, by Orestes A. Brownson, [ISI 2002] It is always a great intellectual experience to examine the operations of a powerful, intuitive, and penetrating mind at work upon the perennial public concerns of civilized humanity. The experience takes on significant additional dimensions when such a mind brings to bear [...]