For Kirk, private property was society’s means of dignifying human makers as bearers of the divine image. On the other hand, production and consumption are not the ends for which society existed, nor are they ends that can be pursued without regard for “the permanent things”—the moral virtues, respect for the natural world, and duty to one's neighbors. The following selections express Kirk’s estimation of prosperity as an indicator of a healthy society. He believed that the way a people generates their wealth (and how they treat the poorest among them) reveals their allegiance to the transcendent moral order upon which every enduring society must be founded.
So you are interested in reading Russell Kirk, the political and cultural thinker who revived intellectual conservatism in the twentieth century. Kirk was a prolific writer on many topics, which begs the question: what should we read? Here is a list of some of the essential works of Russell Kirk.
In this episode David chats with Brad Brizer, author of Russell Kirk: American Conservative, about the life and legacy of Russell Kirk. They chat about Kirk’s childhood, his mysterious family heritage, his eccentricities, his enormous influence, how he would feel about our current moment, and much more.
Russell Kirk, renowned throughout the world for his wisdom and common sense, believed in ghosts, as did many of his most learned friends. As a writer of ghostly tales, he crafted two variations of the genre that occasionally blend together.
Trained as a historian, Russell Kirk’s understanding of the past informed the entirety of his thinking. Although his approach to history was philosophical, he eschewed a “philosophy of history.” For Kirk, the benefit of historical study came from looking at particulars. Those particulars, however, could not be isolated from their larger historical narrative. History as particular narrative would then reveal a shadowy glimpse of the Logos, the fabric of reality that must inform both a personal and political present. Here is a sampling of his musings on the nature of historical consciousness:
Up next on Russell Kirk Week: Russell Kirk’s daughter, Andrea Kirk Assaf, chatting with our very own Heidi White about growing up in the Kirk home and protecting his legacy.
After almost thirty years of marriage to Russell Kirk, there is simply so much to say that it is hard to know where to begin. In this brief essay, I will offer my reflections on what life with Russell was like, and insight into how his conservative heart shaped his conservative mind.
This Thursday marks the centenary of the birth of Russell Kirk, one of the founders of modern American conservatism. His work remains a crucial touchstone for anyone wishing to understand conservatism, or America’s intellectual history more generally.
In this episode of the podcast, David chats with Ken Myers about the evolution of his career, the creation of Mars Hill Audio, interviewing Johnny Cash (for his first ever interview!), and much more.
This episode features an interview that David conducted a few years back with Christine Perrin (a professor at Messiah College and author of a poetry collection called Bright Mirror) about the challenges of teaching poetry.