Selected Short Writings of Russell Kirk
ON AMERICAN CONSERVATISM, GOVERNMENT AND CULTURE
- Virtue: Can It Be Taught?
- Source: Modern Age, Summer/Fall 1982
- The Illusion of Human Rights
- “There exists something even more important than civil liberties: the survival of legitimate governments.”
Source: © 1987 Russell Kirk. Reprinted in The Wise Men Know What Wicked Things Are Written on the Sky (Regnery 1987)
- Enlivening the Conservative Mind
- Source: The Intercollegiate Review, Vol. 21 (Spring 1986), pp. 25–28.
- The Best Form of Government
- Source: Catholic World, Vol. 192 (December 1960), pp. 156–63.
- What Are American Traditions?
- Source: The Georgia Review, Vol. 9, No. 3 (Fall 1955), pp. 283–89.
- The Essence of Conservatism
- Source: Adapted from The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Conservatism (New York: The Devin-Adair Company, 1957). Copyright © 1957 by Russell Kirk, renewed © 2002 by Annette Kirk. Used by permission.
- Ten Conservative Principles
- Source: Adapted from The Politics of Prudence (ISI Books, 1993). Copyright © 1993 by Russell Kirk. Used by permission of the Estate of Russell Kirk.
- Prospects for American Education
- An address discussing the findings of the Report of the National Commission on Excellence in Education. “There will come about a marked decline of prosperity and of national strength—with no one knowing why, or at least no one daring to explain why.”
Source: Russell Kirk, The Wise Men Know What Wicked Things Are Written on the Sky (Regnery, 1987)
- Education and the Information Revolution
- The major ceremonies of the academic community have traditionally been the fall convocation and the spring commencement. This year Russell Kirk, a nationally recognized historian, author, educator and political theorist, played an important role in Grand Valley’s observance of both of these occasions. Kirk, a native of Michigan who resides in Mecosta, received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree at GVSC’s 1983 commencement. He recently returned to the campus to deliver a thought-provoking convocation address which has been the subject of lively discussion throughout the Grand Valley community. His convocation remarks were taken from the following text.
Source: Horizons (Fall 1983), pp. 1–2.
- The Revitalized College: A Model
- Source: From Education in a Free Society, ed. Anne Burleigh (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1973), pp. 71–101.
- The Inhumane Businessman
- “A man is seldom more innocently occupied than when he is engaged in making money,” said Dr. Samuel Johnson. But he may be cheating himself, says an observer of modern American money-makers.
Source: Fortune, Vol. 55 (May 1957), pp. 160–61, 248.
ON LITERATURE AND THE HUMANITIES
- On Valerie Eliot
- Dr. Lockerd reflects on the life of Valerie Eliot.
- ‘Warm with Generous Impulse’: Ray Bradbury, In Memoriam
- Russell Kirk on Ray Bradbury, on the occasion of the death of Bradbury.
- Literature and the Contract of Eternal Society
- Source: From Enemies of the Permanent Things. New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House, 1969.
- The Moral Conservatism of Hawthorne
- Source: The Contemporary Review, Vol. 182 (December, 1952), pp. 361–66.
- English Letters in the Age of Boredom
- Source: Shenandoah, Vol. 7, No. 2 (Spring 1956), pp. 3–15.
- Is Life Worth Living?
- Concluding a public lecture, Russell Kirk once assured his listeners: “If you look for the Supernatural, you will find it. I promise you: I have.” From the concluding chapter of Kirk’s third-person autobiography.
Source: Russell Kirk. “Epilogue: Is Life Worth Living?” in The Sword of Imagination: Memoirs of a Half-Century of Literary Conflict (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1995), 471-76. Copyright © 1995. Reprinted by permission of the estate of Russell Kirk.
- The Moral Imagination
- The moral imagination is an enduring source of inspiration that elevates us to first principles as it guides us upwards towards virtue and wisdom and redemption.
Source: Russell Kirk. “The Moral imagination.” in Literature and Belief Vol. 1 (1981), 37–49. Also published in Reclaiming a Patrimony (Washington, DC: The Heritage Foundation, 1982), 45–58. Copyright © 1981 Russell Kirk, Renewed 2007 Annette Kirk.
- Lincoln and the Dignity of the Presidency
- Source: A speech given February 12, 1970 (transcribed by Brad Birzer)
- The Measure of Abraham Lincoln
- Source: The Month, Vol. 2 (April 1954), pp. 197–206.
- The Common Heritage of America and Europe
- Source: Christianity Today, Vol. 4 (January 4, 1960), pp 259–62.
- Friedrich Gentz on Revolutions
- Source: Contemporary Review, Vol. 190 (November 1956), pp. 283–87.
ON EDMUND BURKE AND HIS THOUGHT
- The Living Edmund Burke
- Source: From Modern Age, Summer/Fall 1982
- How Dead is Edmund Burke?
- Source: Queen’s Quarterly Vol. 57 (Summer, 1950), pp. 160–171.
- Burke, Providence, and Archaism
- Source: A review in The Sewanee Review Vol. 69, No. 1 (January–March, 1961), pp. 179–84.
- Burke Dispassionately Considered
- Source: A review in The Sewanee Review, Volume LXXIV, Number 2, April–June, 1966.
- Burke and the Principle of Order
- Source: From The Sewanee Review, Vol. 60 (April–June 1952), p. 187–201.
- Edmund Burke and the Constitution
- Source: From the Intercollegiate Review, Winter 1985–86; this essay was a condensation of a longer treatment of the same subject on which Dr. Kirk was then working.
- Edmund Burke and the Future of American Politics
- “We are at the beginning of great troubles.”
Source: From Modern Age, Spring 1987
- Why Edmund Burke Is Studied
- To resist the idyllic imagination and the diabolical imagination, we need to know the moral imagination of Edmund Burke.
Source: First published in Modern Age, Summer/Fall 1986
- Burke and Natural Rights
- Source: Reprinted from The Review of Politics, Vol. 13. No. 4, October, 1951
- Burke and the Philosophy of Prescription
- Source: From Journal of the History of Ideas Vol. 14 (June, 1953), pp. 365–80.
ON NATURE, CONSERVATION, AND THE ENVIRONMENT
- Perhaps Our Shortage of Energy Is a Disguised Blessing
- Source: TO THE POINT newspaper column with General Features Corp. For release: Tuesday, January 15, 1974.
- Man, Enemy of Nature
- Source: TO THE POINT newspaper column with General Features Corp. For release: Monday, February 26, 1968.
- Does Anybody Take the Energy ‘Crisis’ Seriously?
- Source: TO THE POINT newspaper column with General Features Corp. For release: Sunday, April 13, 1975.
- Our Grandchildren May Be Chilly
- Source: TO THE POINT newspaper column with General Features Corp. For release: Wednesday, March 15, 1972
- The Mechanical Jacobin
- Source: TO THE POINT newspaper column with General Features Corp. For release: Wednesday, November 28, 1962.
- Planting Trees
- Source: TO THE POINT newspaper column with General Features Corp. For release: Tuesday, May 29, 1962.
- Ruminations of a Small-Scale Forester
- Source: TO THE POINT newspaper column with General Features Corp. For release: Wednesday, March 8, 1972.
- Turn Down Your Thermostat and Throw Away Your Gadgets
- Source: TO THE POINT newspaper column with General Features Corp. For release: Saturday, November 10, 1973.
- Conserving Nature in This Land
- Source: TO THE POINT newspaper column with General Features Corp. For release: Wednesday, August 13, 1969
- The Surly Sullen Bell
- Source: This short story was first published in The London Mystery Magazine No. 7, December 1950–January 1951. © 1950 Russell A. Kirk
- Ex Tenebris
- One of Russell Kirk’s most celebrated “ghostly tales,” this short story is sure to enthrall and, ironically, enlighten.
Source: Copyright © 1957 Russell A. Kirk.
- A Cautionary Note on the Ghostly Tale
- Source: This previously published essay appeared most recently in Ancestral Shadows: An Anthology of Ghostly Tales, by Russell Kirk, edited with an introduction by Vigen Guroian (Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2004).
(Also see the Ghostly Kirk website for more on Russell Kirk’s fiction.)