The article opposite is one of the last to have been completed by Dr. Russell Kirk, who died on April 29 at his ancestral home in Mecosta, Michigan. Kirk was a member of the Editorial Board of HUMANITAS and a co-founder of its sponsoring institute. He first came to public attention when he published The Conservative Mind (1953; now in its eleventh edition), which was prominently and favorably reviewed in Time magazine. The book was based on Kirk’s dissertation at St. Andrews University in Scotland for the Doctor of Letters, a degree very sparingly awarded and never previously earned by an American. The book challenged the conventional view of the United States as the product of Enlightenment liberalism. The American political and cultural tradition is imbued with a larger Western classical and Christian heritage. Kirk drew attention to such thinkers as John Adams, John Randolph, John C. Calhoun, Orestes Brownson, Irving Babbitt and Paul Elmer More as representing a rich vein of thought connecting America with an older Western tradition.
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