Normally, I hold the Russell Amos Kirk Chair in American Studies and am Professor of History at Hillsdale College, Michigan. I proudly serve on the boards of the Free Enterprise Institute and The Center for Cultural Renewal. I am also happily a “Fellow” and/or “Scholar” with the Foundation for Economic Education, Intercollegiate Studies Institute, The McConnell Center, and the Center for Economic Personalism (Brazil). In 2010, I co-founded The Imaginative Conservative website, and, in 2012, I co founded Progarchy.com, a site dedicated to the exploration of music in all of its various forms. I also write for Ignatius Insight, Catholic World Report, and CatholicVote. In 1990, I earned my B.A. from the University of Notre Dame, and, in 1998, I earned my PhD from Indiana University. I have had the great privilege to study with such excellent scholars as R. David Edmund, Bernard Sheehan, Russ Hanson, Anne Butler, Walter Nugent, Greg Dowd, and Marvin O’Connell.
I am author of several books (please see below) and scholarly articles.
For the 2014-2015 school year, I had the wonderful honor of being the “Scholar in Residence” and “Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy,” University of Colorado-Boulder. I loved it.
I have lots of other loves: human liberty and dignity; baking; cooking; playing Legos with my kids; hiking and backpacking in the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains of North America; good writing; Christian Humanism; Apple products; and progressive rock and progressive jazz.
In Defense of Andrew Jackson. Forthcoming Autumn 2018; can preorder now.
Russell Kirk: American Conservative (2015). Available at amazon.com.
Winner of the 2016 Paolucci Book Prize.
Named best book of the year by The American Conservative and The Imaginative Conservative.
A Michigan 2016 Notable Book.
Positively reviewed by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, National Review, and First Things.
J.R.R. Tolkien’s Sanctifying Myth (2003)
“Mr. Birzer’s excellent new book is the latest in a bumper crop of studies — including those by Kurt Bruner, Joseph Pearce, Mark Eddy Smith and Jim Ware — that plumb the religious meaning of Middle Earth. Thanks in part to them, it has become increasingly obvious that Tolkien deserves a place alongside T.S. Eliot, Russell Kirk and C.S. Lewis as one of the 20th century’s great Christian humanists.”
–John J. Miller, “Myth at the Multiplex,” Wall Street Journal (Dec. 2, 2002).
Sanctifying the World: The Augustinian Life and Mind of Christopher Dawson (2007)
“In highlighting the importance of imagination to Dawson’s historical thinking, Birzer has performed a signal service to the better understanding of Dawson’s thought. And in this work as a whole, the author has succeeded in crafting a superbly researched and convincing intellectual and spiritual biography.”
–James Person, “The Full History,” National Review (April 7, 2008).
American Cicero: The Life of Charles Carroll (2010)
“It is to imagine a work more scrupulously faithful to Kirk’s spirit. . . . Birzer rightly presents Carroll as the proper object of deep interest and admiration.”–Stefan McDaniel, First Things, August-September 2010.
“American Cicero is an excellent short biography, focusing mostly on Carroll’s ‘liberal and religious’ education.”–Patrick Walsh, Weekly Standard, August 16, 2010.
Catholics in the Public Square (DVD Course–Catholic Courses; 2013)