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The Conservative Mind by Russell Kirk (1953)

The Conservative Mind by Russell Kirk (1953)

Choice quote: "Hawthorne's chief accomplishment: impressing the idea of sin upon a nation which would like to forget it."

My book still has that smell that all the books from that little bookstore in Niles, Michigan, had. I bought it for $10, back in 1989, when I was a law student. I had little money and even less time at that moment of life, but for some reason, I really wanted this book. It blew me away. I remember reading it in a cubicle at the Notre Dame Law School library and two friends asking me what I was reading. I showed them, then rambled excitedly for about it for a minute or so. They looked at me like I were nuts, but they smiled, trying to be polite, then left me to my book. It was my first indication that I had become something of a freak, but I didn't care. Kirk's book became my favorite kind of book: a book about books. I'm not even sure I consider myself a conservative anymore. I rather identify with the libertarians of the Nockian stripe: beautiful libertarians, not the nasty individualist Randian types. Kirk's was a beautiful mind, so it's not surprising that he loved Nock's masterpiece Memoirs of a Superfluous Man. Did Kirk square his conservatism with libertarian economic ideas? I doubt it, but I don't really care. The State was always the elephant whore in Kirk’s room, and he never really seemed to know what to make of it. It's a shortcoming, but one that can be forgiven: hurriedly, anxiously. For no man should sit in judgment on the likes of Kirk.

Book.

Enemies of the Permanent Things by Russell Kirk (1969)

Enemies of the Permanent Things by Russell Kirk (1969)

Plato and Aristotle by Eric Voegelin (1957). Volume III of Order and History

Plato and Aristotle by Eric Voegelin (1957). Volume III of Order and History