Published Humanitas, Volume XXXII, Nos. 1 & 2, 2019

A century has passed since the birth of Russell Kirk (1918-94), one of the principal founders of the post-World War II conservative revival in the United States. This symposium examines Kirk’s legacy with a view to his understanding of constitutional law and the American Founding. But before we examine these essays, it is worth a moment to review Kirk’s life, thought, and place in American conservatism.

Russell Kirk was born and raised in Michigan and obtained his B.A. in history at Michigan State University and his M.A. at Duke University, where he studied John Randolph of Roanoke and discovered the writings of Edmund Burke. His book Randolph of Roanoke: A Study in Conservative Thought (1951) would endure as one of his most important…

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