Cover image for Russell Kirk : a critical biography of a conservative mind
Russell Kirk : a critical biography of a conservative mind
Person, James E., Jr., 1955-
Publication Information:
Lanham, Md. : Madison Books : Distributed by National Book Network, [1999]

Physical Description:
xiii, 249 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3521.I665 Z8 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



This is a treatment of Russell Kirk's life and accomplishments blends biographical insights and critical perspectives about the author of the The Conservative.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

At the end of this laudatory study, Person notes that when several leading conservatives were asked who the greatest progenitors of modern conservatism were, all named Russell Kirk (1918^-94), whose Conservative Mind (1953; 7th ed., 1986) was the foundational text of the post^-World War II conservative revival. Kirk, the son of a railroad engineer and a homemaker, wrote the book after quitting Michigan State in disgust with the university's promotion of sports and career training at the expense of the liberal arts curriculum. Subsequently, he pursued a career in writing and lecturing on politics, literature (including a major book on his friend T. S. Eliot), academic freedom, and economics. He also wrote supernatural fiction informed by his Catholic faith, married in middle age, fathered four daughters, and opened the large, old family house to a small platoon of students and people who needed shelter. Person surveys and analyzes Kirk's writings and thought with such enthusiasm and so appealingly that many readers may conclude that another conservative revival is devoutly to be wished for. --Ray Olson

Choice Review

In this highly accessible and readable introduction to the life and works of Russell Kirk, Person (independent scholar) provides a coherent and convincing analysis of Kirk's enduring significance to American politics and humane learning. Originally published in 1999, the volume has not been significantly revised, although it remains an excellent contribution to scholarship. Person's mission is to introduce a new generation to "one of the greatest minds this nation has produced during the twentieth century." The book is organized into four sections that outline Kirk's achievement. The first is devoted to interpreting Kirk's background, use of historical consciousness, views on education, and constitutionalism. The second critiques Kirk's devotion to the importance of literature and social criticism. The last two sections survey Kirk's economic thought and his lasting importance as a political thinker. The greatest contribution of this worthwhile volume can be found in the author's review of Kirk's defense of a social order grounded in justice and the diffusion of political power. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. --H. Lee Cheek, East Georgia State College