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The Essential Russell Kirk: Selected Essays Paperback – December 20, 2006
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Like Smith and Burke, K rejected the utilitarian-libertarian philosophies espoused by the University of Chicago's department of economics and Booth Business school. Unfortunately, K's warnings about the dangers of libertarianism to conservatism have been completely ignored. The Republican Party has now been completely taken over by libertarians masquerading as conservatives.
Kirk is not easy reading. If a person is not used to cogitating intellectual, well thought out essays, understanding Kirk's writing takes concentration. But when one considers that there are comparatively few "paleo-conservative" authors writing in our modern times, it makes Kirk's works a valuable repository of conservative thought.
The Essential Russell Kirk collects many of Kirk's best writings on politics, culture, history and education. (I was a bit disappointed that none of Kirk's newspaper columns are included.)
I hope this collection will introduce Kirk to a new generation of readers. Those who are new to Kirk might want to start with the section "The Moral Imagination," which is also the subject of an excellent new book on Kirk by Gerald Russello.
Although Kirk left teaching as a profession because of the corruption of the system, he remained essentially a teacher for his lifetime. For those who are strange to his writings, welcome to the world of reality; to those who discovered him long ago, The Essential Russell Kirk is a summary of the master's teaching that you must add to your library.