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The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot Paperback – August 20, 2008

3.7 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 466 pages
  • Publisher: BN Publishing (August 20, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9659124112
  • ISBN-13: 978-9659124114
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,481,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Regardless of what you believe politically, this book is worth your time.
It stands head and shoulders above the offering that will serve up 'why
this country is in the handbasket' or 'why the liberals are ruining our
country' soundbytes. It is important to understand WHAT the conservative
worldview is, and how it is has evolved. Many people do not understand
what conservative, liberal, communist, socialist and fascist really MEAN.
This clarifies conservativism. It may serve to point out what in the present
day is labelled as conservatism and yet sharply departs from it.

That said this is not light reading. Some material is worthy of several revisits.
I would recommend this to conservative and liberals so they are well rounded.

I particularly enjoyed John C Calhoun on minorities and the Disraeli material.
I re-read chapter three on the John Adams-Hamilton-Jefferson period because
it is so interesting historically and also when viewing present day politics. It
is fascinating to see we are revisiting certain debates and the important well
thought out points that were raised two centuries ago, i.e. Hamilton as a strong
proponent of a central government and the federal government compromise.

Sadly the top notch book that describes the liberal worldview or the intellectual
history of liberalism as well I have not found. Yet.
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Format: Hardcover
Roots of the American Order is a brilliant book describing the intellectual and cultural roots of the American Republic. This edition from BN publishing is NOT Kirk's final revised text of the book. Buy the Regnery Publishing 7th revised edition (ISBN 0895261715). It is in print and available from Amazon.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
With all the other superb reviews posted I'll get straight to the point. This volume, by BN Publishing, even though printed in 2008, is not the most current edition of Kirk's work. TCM was first published in 1953 and the 7th revised edition (still in print) was published by Regnery in 1985. BN should make plain that their text is a reprint of an older edition.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is NOT Russell Kirk's book, so I cannot rate it as such--the 1 star merely to warn others! It is 67-page commentary on Kirk's book: Those selling the book should come clean and include that fact in their description.
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Format: Paperback
Over 60 years ago, The Conservative Mind, a 450-page articulation and distillation of the Anglo-American conservative intellectual tradition conservative ideas was published. Its young author, Russell Kirk (1918-1994), then an obscure professor of history at Michigan State University, would become widely acknowledged as one of the founders of the American post-World War II conservative intellectual movement and as a leading spokesman.

During his long and varied career, he would wear many hats. He was a political observer and advisor, a scholar, an educational reformer, founder and editor of two journals, newspaper columnist, lecturer, author of horror fiction and, lastly and most proudly for him, a "man of letters." His life work spanned a broad range of topics and interests, embracing political theory, intellectual history, and social, cultural and literary criticism.

His second and mostly likely most enduring of his over thirty books would have a dramatic three-fold impact on the tenor and direction of a conservative movement struggling to be born in the 1950s.

First, when the dominant ideological currents of the time had nearly extinguished the responsible voices of intellectual conservatism, Kirk's articulation of the tradition of conservative principles originating with Edmund Burke, the founder of modern conservatism, reinvigorated a dispirited conservatism adrift and barely conscious of its philosophical traditions. The ideas fashionable then in intellectual circles were of a decidedly liberal or socialist orientation.
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Format: Paperback
This is a very readable book of political theory, as Russell Kirk, the Scholar of Mecosta, Michigan, presents us with the great conservative thinkers since Edmund Burke and their ideas. Don't call Kirk an intellectual, which is a Marxist word; call him a cleric or a scholar.

What defines the historical conservative? I must say this conservative is different from a reactionary such Julius Evola who advocated an absolute monarchy who would be a representative of god on earth and closely connected to God to preserve the union of the state. From what I gather from this book, the conservative is for a democracy, but in a limited way, and is for change, as long as it does rock the foundations of tradition. Change is thought to be providential, although I have my doubts. The struggle for conservatives since Burke's time, around 1789, the year of the French Revolution, is to slow down change so that it reforms institutions, but does not destroy them by radical revolution. The main trouble has been that the conservatives were unable to control democracy, this bucking bronco, so that it would be limited within the boundaries of wisdom of tradition and custom, which Burke called "prejudice and prescription".

To get down to the details, arguments about who should be voting are covered. The ever expanding franchise of voting has dismayed conservatives who would rather have men of wealth, ability, and qualification voting in elections for various interests in society. These representatives are not delegates, so once they are voted in to office, do not call them with your opinion, they know better than you how to govern and you should show deference to their authority. The one man-one vote system today does not distinguish between an informed vote and an uninformed one.
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