Russell Kirk on Thomas Jefferson (full article), 1941

3tj_header_smOne of Kirk’s earliest published writings, a good, effective look at Thomas Jefferson and the literature around the third president.


rak jefferson 1941 copy

Russell Kirk Against Conscription, Part II

Russell Kirk’s second published attack on conscription.  Source: South Atlantic Quarterly (July 1946).  Enjoy.

rak conscript infinite 1946

Russell Kirk Against Conscription 1945

Near Dugway, Utah.

Near the entrance to Dugway testing grounds.. Kirk was stationed here, 1942-1946.

One of Russell Kirk’s earliest articles, an examination (and attack on) of conscription.  Source: South Atlantic Quarterly 44 (1945): 82-99.

rak conscript on education 1945

University Bookman Summer 1979

IMG_0003As I’m finishing (well, getting close to finishing) the main draft of my biography of Russell Kirk, I’ve had the chance and privilege to explore Kirk’s magazine, University Bookman.  Kirk founded it in 1960 and edited it until his death in the spring of 1994.  It’s a treasure trove.  In this issue, critical academic and literary figures Jerry Pournelle, Anthony Kerrigan, and W.T. Couch contribute.  My friend, Gerald Russello, now holds the prestigious position of editor.


ub summer 1979

Skyberia (1952) by Russell Kirk

Short story, but not a ghost story.

Source: “Skyberia,” Queen’s Quarterly 59 (Summer 1952): 180-191.

skyberia 1952

America, I love you–Russell Kirk (1949)

This is Russell Kirk’s first published short story–“America, I Love You.”  It appeared in QUERN (1949), pp. 7-11.  Autobiographical, and very depressing cultural criticism of the America of that day.

rak america i love you 1949

Uncle Isaiah by Russell Kirk (1951)

My favorite Kirk short story, Uncle Isaiah.  Originally in London Mystery Magazine (August-September 1951).  Enjoy.

uncle isaiah original

Remember, it’s 1951, so some of the ethnic stereotyping was par for the time.

Russell Kirk’s “Behind the Stumps.”

rak behind the stumps


A number of friends (including Carl Oberg) have asked about Kirk’s horror/ghost stories. Here’s the one John J. Miller says is best. Enjoy. Russell Kirk, “Behind the Stumps.”

H495 Reading List (Fall 2013)

A_Canticle_For_LebowitzAssigned books:  Christian Humanist Course, Fall 2013

T.S. Eliot, Complete Poems and Plays ISBN: 978-0151211852

C.S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength  ISBN: 978-0743234924

Walter Miller, Canticle for Leibowitz ISBN: 978-0060892999

G.K. Chesterton, Ballad of the White Horse ISBN: 978-0898708905

Eric Voegelin, New Science of Politics ISBN: 978-0226861142

Reader (which I’ll provide):

Table of Contents

Prologue: Owen Barfield, “Effective Approach to Social Change,” (1940)

Schools of Thought List


Albert Jay Nock, “Anarchist’s Progress,” (1927)

Albert Jay Nock, “The State,” (1923)

Ayn Rand, “Conservatism: An Obituary,” (1960)

F.A. Hayek, “The Results of Human Action but not of Human Design,” (1967)

Frank L. Owsley, “The Pillars of Agrarianism,” (1934)


Humanist Manifesto (1933)

Spaeth, “Conversation with Paul Elmer More,” (1943) T.S. Eliot, “The Humanism of Irving Babbitt,” (1936)

P.E. More, “A Revival of Humanism,” (1930)

Allen Tate, “The Fallacy of Humanism,” (1930)

T.S. Eliot, “Second Thoughts about Humanism,” (1929)

P.E. More/C.S. Lewis Correspondence (1934, 1935, 1941)

Austin Warren, “The ‘New Humanism’ Twenty Years After,” (1958/1959)

Christopher Dawson, “The End of an Age,” (1930)

C. Dawson, “The Dark Mirror,” (1930)

C. Dawson, “The Hour of Darkness,” (1939)

C. Dawson, “Christianity and the Humanist Tradition,” (1952)

Jacques Maritain, “Christian Humanism,” (1952)


T.S. Eliot, “Tradition and Individual Talent” (1919)

T.S. Eliot, “Poetry and Propaganda,” (1930)

T.S. Eliot, “Tradition and Orthodoxy,” (1934)

T.S. Eliot, “Catholicism and International Order,” (1936)

Russell Kirk, “Imagination Against Ideology,” (1980)


R. Kirk, “What is Academic Freedom?” (1956)

R. Kirk, “The Sp’iled Praist and the Stickit Minister,” (1957)

R. Kirk, “Literature, Anxiety, and Norms,” (1957)

R. Kirk, “Humane Letters and Modern Fragmentation,” (1962)

R. Kirk, “Liberal Learning, Moral Worth, and Defecated Rationality,” (1973)


R. Kirk, “The Revival of Fantasy,” (1968)

R. Kirk, “A Cautionary Note on the Ghostly Tale,” (1962)

Birzer, “Conservative Gothic,” (2005)

Walker Percy, “Rediscovering A Canticle for Leibowitz,” (1971)

Map, “Land of the Mare”

C.S. Lewis, “Sometimes Fairy Stories May Say Best What’s to be Said,” (1956)


R. Kirk, “Regaining Historical Consciousness,” (1999)

Leo Strauss, “Three Waves of Modernity,” (1989)

Claes G. Ryn, “Defining Historicism,” (1998)

R. Kirk, “The Common Heritage of America and Europe,” (1960)

Ideologies, Left and Right

C. Dawson, “The Left-Right Fallacy” (1945)

R. Kirk, “Ideologues’ Folly,” (1963)

R. Kirk, “The Grim Significance of Ideology”

Mark Kalthoff, “Contra Ideology,” (2005)

M. Kalthoff, “Russell Kirk, C.P. Snow, and Sir Thomas Browne,” (2006)

R. Kirk, “Mill’s ‘On Liberty’ Reconsidered,” (1956)

R. Kirk, “The Dissolution of Liberalism,” (1955)

R. Kirk, “King Demos: The Meaning of Democracy,” (1955)

R. Kirk, “John Locke Reconsidered,” (1955)

R. Kirk, “An Ideologue of Liberty,” (1964)

Eric Voegelin

E. Voegelin, “Introduction to the ‘History of Political Ideas,’” (1940)

E. Voegelin, “The Origins of Totalitarianism,” (1953)

R. Kirk, several articles combined on Voegelin

Russell Kirk

Kirk on Private Judgment

“An Interview with Russell Kirk,” (1980)

Annette Kirk, “Life with Russell Kirk,” (1995)

Bradley J. Birzer, “Russell Kirk: Knight-Errant Against the Ideologues,” (2008)

R. Kirk, “The High Achievement of Christopher Dawson,” (1984)

R. Kirk, “Beyond the Dreams of Avarice,” (1950)

R. Kirk, “Social Justice and Mass Culture,” (1954)

R. Kirk, “Conservatives and Religious Faith,” (1962)

R. Kirk, “Religion in the Civil Social Order,” (1984)

R. Kirk, “Ideology and Political Economy,” (1957)

R. Kirk, “The Uninteresting Future,” (1960)

Kirk’s Critics

Rose Wilder Lane/Frank S. Meyer Correspondence (1953, 1954, 1956, 1958, 1960)

F. Meyer, “Collectivism Rebaptized,” (1955)
Harry Jaffa, “The False Prophets of American Conservatism”

Charles Kesler, “All American? Conservatism Needs to Become More Thoroughly American,” (1998)

A possible book cover for the Kirk bio

Just for fun. . . .

tent book title.001 - Version 2

Catholicism and Leviathan



Image borrowed from STEAM.

To understand politics and the political, we must first recognize its place in the order of existence and its limitation.

I do fear that, as a whole, western society has come to think of the state (meaning politics and political governance, backed by the coercive power of the police and armed forces, institutionalized education, etc.)—whether in a relatively free republic or in a benign dictatorship—as an almost spiritual entity by which all can be defined, all problems solved, and all persons saved.  There’s a left-right spectrum (to use difficult terms) on this matter.  Some modern westerners—leftist progressives—think the state can solve things immediately, others—rightest progressives—think it might take several decades or even centuries.  But, regardless, left and right, most of us have bought into the idea of “progress.”  We rarely define that progress, but we believe it somehow exists, and we believe, with a road bump here or there, that we’re moving toward some historical end.  Things will probably be better down the road, we tell ourselves.

As Roman Catholics, however, I believe it essential that we evaluate—at the most fundamental levels—our relationship to the state.  It’s worth remembering that the Roman Empire was the number one murderer of Christians until the earliest part of the fourth century.  In the days of martyrdom, the Catholic Church grew parallel to, and under, and around, and near, and within the Roman oppression and blood thirst.

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