The Corner

Nashville

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.

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.