Russell Kirk

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 Dr. Kirk’s 1953 book The Conservative Mind “gave American conservatives an identity and a genealogy and catalyzed the postwar movement.” Dr. Kirk's other books include The Roots of American Order, Prospects for Conservatives, Edmund Burke: A Genius Reconsidered, The Sword of Imagination, and Enemies of the Permanent Things.

Latest by Russell Kirk in Chronicles

  • Escape from Grub Street
    December 12, 2019

    Escape from Grub Street

    Walter Scott, in 1820, wrote that Fielding is "father of the English Novel." Yet James Russell Lowell, in 1881, remarked to an English audience that "We really know almost as little of Fielding's life as of Shakespeare's." Lives of Fielding, or important essays about him, have been written by distinguished men of letters—Arthur Murphy, Walter Scott, James Russell Lowell, Austin Dobson, Leslie Stephen, Wilbur Cross, and others—but no thorough biography had existed before…

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  • The Mind and Heart of T.S. Eliot
    July 24, 2019

    The Mind and Heart of T.S. Eliot

    In 1948, when I kept a bookshop, not a few young people still fancied that Eliot expressed their own romantic nihilism. Many books about him having been published since then, that illusion no longer prevails. Eliot's descent into the numinous depths of the soul is not the path to Avernus; and "Difficulties of a Statesman" no longer is taken for an ideological poem.

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  • Reader's Digest
    February 7, 2019

    Reader's Digest

    Some 40 nonclassic books are discussed by Professor Perrin in this pleasant volume of literary preferences. By a classic, Noel Perrin means a work that everyone recognizes as highly important, even though one may never have opened it: something like Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.

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  • The Age of Nixon
    October 17, 2018

    The Age of Nixon

    This temperate and thorough book commences with a detailed description of President Nixon's activities on May 8 and 9, 1970, when thousands of young people had poured into Washington to protest the American expedition into Cambodia.

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  • Mysterious Island
    March 1991

    Mysterious Island

    Missaukee County, in the heart of the lower peninsula of Michigan, is perfectly flat and perfectly rural, its farms possessed by Dutch Calvinists. When first I, aged 17, traveled across the county, every farmhouse and every barn was ornamented by conspicuous lightning rods, the rustics having been duped by some ingenious salesman.

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Latest by Russell Kirk in ITO