As the author of The Conservative Mind and other seminal books, Russell Kirk is usually thought of as one of the American conservative political movement’s most important progenitors. But as this collection demonstrates, Kirk was perhaps at his best as an essayist. This volume also confirms that Kirk’s was principally a literary and historical conservatism that refused to fit the irreducible complexity of human experience to the requirements of any ideological straitjacket. With The Essential Russell Kirk, literary critic George A. Panichas captures the breadth and depth of Kirk’s intellectual project by gathering together forty-four of the most masterful of Kirk’s essays, along with a unique chronology told in Kirk’s own words and a substantial introduction that articulates the deep humanism that animated Kirk’s philosophy. The result is a carefully assembled volume that gives us a fuller picture of an extraordinary man and writer, one whose labors had, and continue to have, remarkable repercussions on the American literary and political landscape.

About the author(s)

Russell Kirk (1918-1994), the father of intellectual conservatism in America, was the author of more than thirty books, including The Conservative Mind, Eliot and His Age, and The Roots of American Order. His legacy lives on in the work of the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal, based at his ancestral home in Mecosta, Michigan.

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