How I First Met Russell Kirk: An Autobiographical Reflection

How I first met Russell Kirk, an autobiographical reflection of one goofy mind encountering one brilliant mind. Fall 1989.

I often look at, hold, and peruse my first (first to me, that is) copy of The Conservative Mind. Sometime in 1989, I ended up with a brand-new hardback copy of the Regnery Seventh edition, revised, complete with a really hideous industrial-green dust jacket. It was the same shade of green that once adorned my public grade-school walls back in Hutchinson, Kansas. I write “was” because I long ago ripped away and threw away that cover. I normally keep my dust jackets, but this one deserved a death long ago. Whether it was death by simple discard or burning, I remember not. Whatever the case, it is long gone.


I do not even remember how I came by the book. I grew up in what can only be described as a Barry Goldwater household (though long after Goldwater’s presidential run), and I had been reading Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek, Robert Ringer, and Henry Hazlitt since ninth grade, but I had never read anyone associated with a Kirkian type of conservatism. To my mind, conservatives were allies, but they were certainly only secondary thinkers compared to great men such as Milton Friedman.

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