The Corner

More On Kirk

Another nice passage on Kirk, from the same Frum essay: “Yet if Kirk’s great work cannot be counted as history, exactly, it ought to be esteemed as something in some ways more important: a profound critique of contemporary mass society, and a vivid and poetic image—not a program, an image—of how that society might better itself. It is, in important respects, the twentieth century’s own version of the Reflections on the Revolution in France. If Kirk was not a historian, he was an artist, a visionary, almost a prophet. As long as he lived, by word and example he cautioned conservatives against over-indulging their fascination with economics. He taught that conservativism was above all a moral cause: one devoted to the preservation of the priceless heritage of Western civilization.”

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.

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