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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.
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.
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.
It’s been years in the making, but we are finally ready to launch the quarterly version of FORMA. Here’s what that means—and how you can get access.
Books offer a unique entry into conversation because they contain the best ideas we can possibly encounter. They are, in fact, a gateway to big issues, and we can often enter into a comfortable, leisurely conversation about some of life’s hardest topics through the lens of a book. When we read with our kids and then open ourselves up for conversation, we have a unique opportunity to help them encounter great thoughts and ideas, think deeply about them, and allow those ideas and encounters to shape their lives.
As the first women to produce published translations of the Aeneid and the Odyssey, Sarah Ruden and Emily Wilson are history-makers.
Wendell Berry on the inherent comedy in formal schooling, teaching that cultivates sympathy, and the importance of Apprenticeship
The Aeneid has never been my favorite epic: I prefer my heroes more flawed and fierce, but a new reading has illuminated something flawed in me. I see myself and my fellow classical educators in the defeated Trojans, cast from a burning city, longing to return. Lonely, we feel exiled from a world that is rumored to have once delighted in truth for its own sake. We identify ourselves as keepers of the flame of memory in the wasteland. Like Aeneas, with his household gods, we shield the rich relics of the past from those who want to burn them to ashes. Yet what do we do with the cultural memory we carry? Two characters from the Aeneid embody divergent reactions to the ancient dilemma: Aeneas, duty-bound to build a kingdom, and Andromache, erecting a citadel for ghosts.