Magazine January 25, 2010, Issue

Ash Heap or Mountain Top?

Russell Kirk, 1950s (Wikimedia)
Reappraising the Right: The Past & Future of American Conservatism, by George H. Nash (ISI, 446 pp., $27.95)

An historian must have a passion for the past, a compelling desire to learn all there is to learn about an age, a movement, or an event and the men and women who shaped it and were shaped by it. He must have an equal desire to tell the story of that past as completely and objectively as possible, never allowing a mesmerizing personality or an overarching event to distort the telling. And he must have a judicial temperament that enables him to differentiate between the sensational and the consequential, the fleeting and the fundamental.

American conservatism has been fortunate for

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I am reminded of one of the supervisors of my Ph.D. at UC Berkeley, Roger Tsien, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2008.

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