About The University Bookman

“Reviewing Books that Build Culture.”

For six decades, The University Bookman, founded by Russell Kirk, has sought to redeem the time by identifying and discussing those books that diagnose the modern age and support the renewal of culture and the common good. Currently published online, the Bookman continues its mission of examining our times through the prism of what Kirk called the Permanent Things.


Jeffrey O. Nelson, Publisher and Editor-at-Large

Luke C. Sheahan, Editor

James Davenport, Assistant Editor 

David Bonagura, Religion Editor

Isabel Dobbs, Managing Editor 

Alvino-Mario Fantini, European Editor 


Gerald J. Russello, Editor (2005–2021)

About the Editor

Luke SheahanLuke Sheahan is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Duquesne University and a Non-Resident Scholar in the Program for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society (PRRUCS) at the University of Pennsylvania. He researches the intersection of First Amendment rights and political theory. Sheahan’s scholarly articles and reviews have appeared in Humanitas, The Political Science Reviewer, and Perspectives on Political Science and he has lectured widely on religious liberty, freedom of speech, and freedom of association. His popular writing has appeared in Law and Liberty, Real Clear Civics, and other venues. He is author of Why Associations Matter: The Case for First Amendment Pluralism (2020). Sheahan is also working on a manuscript tentatively titled Pluralism and Toleration: Difference, Justice, and the Social Group.

Sheahan received a PhD and MA in political theory from the Catholic University of America and a B.S. in political science from the Honors College at Oregon State University. From 2016-2018 he was a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Political Science at Duke University and from 2018-2019 he was Associate Director and Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Freedom Project, an academic institute at Wellesley College. Sheahan is a five-time recipient of the Humane Studies Fellowship from the Institute for Humane Studies, a 2014 recipient of the Richard M. Weaver Fellowship from the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI), a 2015-2016 recipient of a dissertation research fellowship from the Catholic University of America, and a 2018 recipient of the Leonard Liggio Memorial Fellowship.

Subscription Information

THE UNIVERSITY BOOKMAN (ISSN 0441-9265) is currently published only online. We encourage you to follow us via our RSS subscription feed and on Twitter, and to sign up for our periodic e-mail notification list using the links in the sidebar.

Editorial Information

Editorial correspondence, including manuscript submissions and review copies of books, should begin by e-mailing to bookman.submissions@gmail.com. Potential contributors should download the publication guidelines here.

Reprinting and Reposting

We welcome republication or cross-posting of our content. Our policies require that the republished or cross-posted article or review include only two paragraphs (preferably the first two), with a link to the Bookman site for the full text. While permission to quote an entire article or review may be given on occasion, such permission must be requested of the Editor before publication.

Gifts and Bequests

THE UNIVERSITY BOOKMAN is, in part, sustained by gifts and bequests. Those who wish to support this journal may do so by contributing to the Russell Kirk Center, a tax-exempt, charitable public organization. Benefactions should be addressed to: The Russell Kirk Center, P.O. Box 4, Mecosta, MI 49332. You may also donate online.



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Upcoming Event: The Gerald Russello Memorial Lecture

Upcoming Event: The Gerald Russello Memorial Lecture

On November 15, The University Bookman and friends will hold a memorial lecture in honor of Gerald Russello, longtime editor of The University Bookman. Dr. Dermot Quinn, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies at Seton Hall University, will speak on Gerald Russello and the Art of Memory.

The Paradoxical Ideology

The Paradoxical Ideology

“Rousseau’s ideas have influenced both theorists and practitioners of democracy, such as Thomas Jefferson, Woodrow Wilson, George W. Bush, John Rawls, Jürgen Habermas, and Jacques Maritain. For Finley, the common thread in this group is belief in the ideology of democratism. For each of these figures, democracy is perceived as the ultimate end for society, akin to religious salvation, and only an elite-controlled oligarchy can represent society’s ‘general will.’ The irony is that this oligarchy employs undemocratic means in the name of democracy to achieve its objectives.”

The Paradoxical Ideology

Democratism and False Equivalence

“Finley argues that advocates of ‘democratism’ have always argued for democracy not as a regime of popular government but as a set of political norms of enlightened public sharing commitments to further liberation from traditional bonds.”