What They're Saying...
"[T]he conclusion that without Kirk, modern American conservatism would not have existed, alone merits the recent publication of The Essential Russell Kirk, a collection of his writings. Edited by the distinguished literary critic George Panichas, it is a significant contribution to understanding his place in American intellectual history."
— Gerald J. Russello, The New Criterion
"For more than forty years and in more than thirty books, and in countless articles, Kirk fought on the front line in the war of ideas. He is, arguably, but in many circles indisputably, the modern age's godfather of authentic conservative intellectualism. Seen in their completeness, this compendium of commentaries disclose his extraordinary breadth and thought as a social critic and an ethical teacher. He is a foremost man of letters in the conservative army."
— The Sutherland Institute
"If conservatism is to contribute to the urgent task of repairing a
torn culture, it must first repair itself. In this magnificent
collection of his writings, Russell Kirk, the major prophet of modern
American conservatism, brings us back to first principles and reminds
us of the things that are permanent. In surveying the past, he
illuminates the way ahead."
— Andrew J. Bacevich, Professor of History and
International Relations, Boston University
"Panichas has made a near-perfect selection of 42 essays, arranging them in nine sections that touch on every major theme of Kirk's more than 40 years of intellectual endeavor… Each of those sections receives a slightly longer introduction, and Panichas has written a Preface to the entire volume that is far more illuminating than much longer, even book-length, treatments of Kirk's thought."
— Scott P. Richert, Chronicles
"George A. Panichas' superbly edited compilation of Kirk's essays provides further evidence that a welcomed and long overdue revival of interest in Kirk's thought is now underway…The product of five years of meticulous editing, The Essential Kirk lives up to its title. Even though Kirk's essays have been anthologized before (mostly by Kirk himself), this collection is the first to cover the entire spectrum of his life's work."
— W. Wesley McDonald, The American Conservative
"an excellent introduction to a great conservative mind. It's all non-fiction, so the only thing missing are the ghost stories."
— John J. Miller, National Review Online
"Perhaps this well-edited collection will help a new generation to articulate an authentic and thoroughly Christian conservatism while promoting a civil discourse more historically informed and better equipped to understand and address the deepening spiritual crisis of the West."
""With the exception of his unflinching critique of communism, there is next to no discussion of contemporary policy or electoral politics in the 600 pages of eclectic and elegantly woven essays that constitute The Essential Russell Kirk.... Kirk believed that the most urgent task consisted in educating hearts and minds through the recovery and renewal of neglected sources of wisdom. "
— Peter Berkowitz, Policy Review
"The Essential Russell Kirk is a godsend for anyone who cares about post-war American intellectual history, a far more intrinsically interesting and varied subject than the post-war intellectual history of anywhere else in the English-speaking world. One can accord this volume no higher compliment than to say that Kirk himself would have approved of it."
— R.J. Stove, National Observer, Australia
"To say that this is a timely volume is to risk understatement. As Europe grapples with its historic identity, as Brussels expands its bureaucratic reach, and with electorates on both sides of the Atlantic divided along ideological lines, a call to remember 'the permanent things' in the interest of judging the present is very much in order. Panichas deserves gratitude not only for reproducing these essays in a single volume, but for his learned and insightful introduction to each."
— Jude P. Dougherty, Professor of Philosophy, The Catholic University of America
"More than other leaders of the postwar conservative
revival, Russell Kirk (along with perhaps Richard Weaver) understood the
Christian ancestry of conservatism. Perhaps this well edited collection will
help a new generation to articulate an authentic and thoroughly Christian
conservatism while promoting a civil discourse more historically informed
and better equipped to understand and address the deepening spiritual crisis
of the West."