Russell Kirk: American Conservative

Russell Kirk American Conservative Emerging from two decades of the Great Depression and the New Deal and facing the rise of radical ideologies abroad the American Right seemed beaten broken and adrift in the early s Although co

  • Title: Russell Kirk: American Conservative
  • Author: Bradley J. Birzer
  • ISBN: 9780813166186
  • Page: 411
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Emerging from two decades of the Great Depression and the New Deal and facing the rise of radical ideologies abroad, the American Right seemed beaten, broken, and adrift in the early 1950s Although conservative luminaries such as T S Eliot, William F Buckley Jr Leo Strauss, and Eric Voegelin all published important works at this time, none of their writings would matEmerging from two decades of the Great Depression and the New Deal and facing the rise of radical ideologies abroad, the American Right seemed beaten, broken, and adrift in the early 1950s Although conservative luminaries such as T S Eliot, William F Buckley Jr Leo Strauss, and Eric Voegelin all published important works at this time, none of their writings would match the influence of Russell Kirk s 1953 masterpiece The Conservative Mind This seminal book became the intellectual touchstone for a reinvigorated movement and began a sea change in Americans attitudes toward traditionalism.In Russell Kirk, Bradley J Birzer investigates the life and work of the man known as the founder of postwar conservatism in America Drawing on papers and diaries that have only recently become available to the public, Birzer presents a thorough exploration of Kirk s intellectual roots and development The first to examine the theorist s prolific writings on literature and culture, this magisterial study illuminates Kirk s lasting influence on figures such as T S Eliot, William F Buckley Jr and Senator Barry Goldwater who persuaded a reluctant Kirk to participate in his campaign for the presidency in 1964.While several books examine the evolution of postwar conservatism and libertarianism, surprisingly few works explore Kirk s life and thought in detail This engaging biography not only offers a fresh and thorough assessment of one of America s most influential thinkers but also reasserts his humane vision in an increasingly inhumane time.

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      Published :2019-02-12T03:21:24+00:00

    One thought on “Russell Kirk: American Conservative”

    1. I spent a lot of time during my 30's writing Letters to the Editor, mostly to the Atlanta Constitution and Wall Street Journal. I've always been glad for the experience, since in the process I got to know some of the editors, whose input and coaching were wise guidance for my passionate scribbling.To help hone my fledgling writing craft, I was also reading widely, and I will always remember my first encounter with Kirk's masterpiece, "The Conservative Mind" (and, following that, many of his othe [...]

    2. Once upon a time, it seemed that Russell Kirk might, as he so devoutly wished, “redeem the time.” For two brief, shining moments, in the late 1950s and the early 1980s, Kirk’s efforts must have seemed to him like they might bear permanent fruit. But the moments passed, and it is clear now (in the summer of 2016) that Kirk’s efforts were always doomed. Or maybe only doomed in this age—on the farther side of our Ragnarok, perhaps his star will rise again.He knew this himself, no doubt. B [...]

    3. Conservatism is a narrow idealism in today’s political environment. It masquerades as a unifying banner under which half of America’s voters seek asylum: the religiously frustrated, the economically thwarted, the bureaucratically confined.As a political platform it has had its successes and failures. It has promoted prosperity just as it has forgotten the importance of a sustainable future. It has insisted on the value of a human life just as it has created international roadblocks that make [...]

    4. Anyone who has a passing acquaintance with Russell Kirk’s work knows he emphasized culture over politics, and thought that only by way of cultural renewal might we eventually achieve political health. So, it is perhaps unsurprising that Bradley Birzer’s impressive biography, Russell Kirk: American Conservative, provides a rich and convincingly articulated examination of Kirk’s intellectual development that stresses Kirk’s Christian humanism and his commitment to a Republic of Letters mor [...]

    5. Birzer provides an engaging, in-depth, critical biography of a significant figure in the American Conservative movement. Readers are introduced to all aspects of Kirk’s life from cradle to grave. Kirk came to national prominence when he published his re-worked Ph.D. dissertation from St. Andrew’s University. The Conservative Mind published in 1953, garnered critical applause of both friend and foe of the conservative movement because of Kirk’s erudition. Kirk was widely read in newspapers [...]

    6. A Great Scholar and GentlemanWhen I was in college (1960-1964), my liberal professor of political science recommended Kirk's classic "The Conservative Mind". I did so and I've been reading conservative thinkers ever since. Kirk's thought is of enduring value. Birzer's biography is a wonderful introduction to the mind and person of this great man.

    7. As Plutarch did in his Parallel Lives, Dr. Bradley Birzer parallels the lives that influenced, interacted and reflected the conservative mind in Russell Kirk: American Conservative. This well written and insightful biography paints a picture of Kirk as a multi-dimensional thinker, revealing Kirk’s many passions, eccentricities and his philosophical underpinnings. Bizer writes in an engaging and excellent style which contributes to the understanding of this significant figure of modern Conserva [...]

    8. Excellent study not just of Kirk, but of the development of the idea of American conservatism in the post WWII decades.

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