The Corner

Brooke Allen

For those following the Brooke Allen thread, I note that there is a very good interview with Brooke at Enter Stage Right, here. The interviewer is NR pal (well, the one time I met him in person was at an NR function) Bernard Chapin.

FWIW I have sat next to Brooke at several New Criterion dinners & can report that she is a charming person with a formidably well-furnished mind.  Politically she seems to be of the “communitarian” inclination of which we heard so much back in the 90s.  You can’t avoid the impression, though, that she is not much interested in politics, not interested at all in the wonkish sense.  (She seems not to know the difference between Medicare and Medicaid, for e.g.  When I once tried to engage her in conversation about illegal immigration, we simply couldn’t connect.  She just couldn’t see my point.  “Why shouldn’t they come here, if there’s work to do?….”)

For all that, Brooke is a rare but very essential thing:  A cultural conservative, where that “cultural” refers to the high culture of our nation and civilization.  I know that some NRO readers don’t give a fig about any of that — feel, in fact, that fretting about the state of art, literature, or serious music should be left to the Other Party while we get on with cleaning our guns and checking the NASCAR schedules.  Fair enough, but some others of us think that what Brooke does is (a) important, (b) quintessentially conservative.  And that she does it very, very well. 

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