In the summer of 1990, I was fortunate enough to attend a weekend program for college students at the home of Russell Kirk in Michigan. In our group’s first formal gathering, Kirk held up a book and told us that we all should read it. I had not heard of it before. It was The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America, by George H. Nash. Back in Ann Arbor, I borrowed a copy from the library and devoured it. A number of books contributed to my intellectual formation, but Nash’s may have been the most important of all.
Since then, I’ve formed a friendship with George. A few years ago, I encouraged him to collect his various essays and reviews and publish them in a single volume. Now he has. It’s called Reappraising the Right: The Past and Future of American Conservatism.
Today’s podcast is with Nash. We discuss whether liberals were premature in their eager declarations of conservatism’s death a year ago, why conservatism may be in a better position today than it was a generation ago, and why conservatives need to know their intellectual forefathers. Nash also offers a spirited interpretation of Herbert Hoover’s conservatism.