The Conservative Mind

  • by Russell Kirk
  • Narrated by Phillip Davidson
  • 19 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

First published in 1953, this magnificent work will be remembered in ages to come as one of our century's most important legacies. Written during a time when liberalism was heralded as the only political and intellectual tradition in America, there is no doubt that this book is largely responsible for the rise of conservatism as a viable and credible creed.Kirk defines "the conservative mind" by examining such brilliant men as Edmund Burke, James Fenimore Cooper, Alexis de Tocqueville, John Quincy Adams, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Benjamin Disraeli, Cardinal Newman, George Santayana, and finally, T.S. Eliot. Vigorously written, the book represents conservatism as an ideology born of sound intellectual traditions.

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What the Critics Say

"Kirk is assured a place of prominence in the intellectual histories for helping to define the ethical basis of conservatism. He has tried to pull conservatism away from the utilitarian premises of liberalism, toward which conservatism often veers, toward a philosophy rooted in ethics and culture." (Wall Street Journal)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

An interim review

I have only "read" about a third of the book, but felt I needed to add to the comments available. The book addresses the contributions of significant individuals to conservative thought. It attempts to put their thoughts in the context of the times and lives of those people. I would not consider the book a collection of biographies. I believe that one of the purposes of the book is to create an interest in the reader that will lead him to go to the writings of the people mentioned. In my case it succeeded. A couple of other comments: Mr. Kirk tends not to define the terms that he uses, so the reader is left to find the definitions himself, or find the definition well after the term is first used. I also sometimes found the book a little hard to follow as I was listening, and had to refer to a text copy. I would definitely recommend the book, especially to those looking for the basis of conservative thought.
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- James

Worth the time and effort

This book should be read/listened to - not for correctness - and not for conclusions - but because it broadens the background of almost every reader by presenting competing viewpoints to those propagated by academia and the popular media.
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- Ted

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-02-2008
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.