What makes me the expert on Conservatism?

Resources

I’m certainly not claiming to be an expert.  But I do read the experts and strive to faithfully translate their writings into blog posts and podcasts for the modern reader.  Below you will find links to websites, books, podcasts, and other resources I highly recommend if you want to learn more from the actual experts, along with a brief synopsis and my best estimate for what level of political-philosophical nerd you'd need to be to expect some benefit:

Recommended for the college educated who aren't familiar with conservative jargon.

Recommended for those looking for in-depth analysis and reflection from a conservative perspective.

Recommended for the conservative scholar familiar with the nuances of conservative thought from the Burkian/Kirkian variety to the Straussian/Neocon persuasion.

Websites and Blogs

Daily quotes and original commentary from an anonymous New Yorker who's consistently insightful and brilliant.  If Edmund Burke ran a blog, it'd probably look something like this.  The blogger welcomes questions from readers.

The official all-things-Russell-Kirk website.

One of the few heroes of conservative thought alive today, Thomas Sowell has a résumé so long it deserves its own blog post.  A disciple of economist Milton Friedman, Sowell is a brilliant commentator on economics, sociology, history, writing, and politics to name but a few.

A community of conservatives who "who seek the True, the Good and the Beautiful" who "address culture, liberal learning, politics, political economy, literature, the arts and the American Republic."

The J-Files.PNG

Fellow Millennial Justin Stapley offers a smorgasbord of articles from a conservative perspective ranging from politics, philosophy, theology, outdoor recreations, sports, movie/book/video game reviews, and more.

Books

In the 1950s Russell Kirk almost single-handedly rescued conservative thought from oblivion.  Here is the book that made him famous and made "conservative" a household term.  It's a dense and difficult read, but it's worth it for those determined to unlock Kirk's timeless message.

In the 1950s Russell Kirk almost single-handedly rescued conservative thought from oblivion.  Here is the book that made him famous and made "conservative" a household term.  It's a dense and difficult read, but it's worth it for those determined to unlock Kirk's timeless message.

Roger Scruton is a professional philosopher and ardent defender of conservatism.  "In this highly personal and witty book, Scruton explains how to live as a conservative in spite of the pressures to exist otherwise. Drawing on his own experience as a counter-cultural presence in public life, Scruton argues that while humanity might survive in the absence of the conservative outlook, it certainly won't flourish."

A "basic" yet sweeping examination of economics from one of the most renown economists alive today.  Sowell has a knack for making the complex simple and this book does an excellent job in dispelling the multitudes of myths that surround economics today using terms and examples familiar to all.

Ron Chernow's authoritative biography of Alexander Hamilton is the book that inspired the hit broadway musical.  One of America's most misunderstood, brilliant, and complex Founding Father, the story of Hamilton is the story of America.  This is a dense and a long book, but it's a pager-turner of a tale about an incredible individual.

You'll never look at history the same way again as Sowell tells the story behind the story of some of modern history's greatest advents.  From the roots of American racism to the similarities between the Jewish holocaust and other genocides, Sowell provides the motives of fear and ignorance lurking behind humanity's cruelty to humanity.

Price of Greatness.jpg

Has American politics always been this divisive?  Would you believe it was once much worse?

 

National Review columnist and visiting scholar at The American Enterprise Institute, Jay Cost tells the story of how a difference of opinion in the early days of the American republic led to a fight that can still be felt today.  His message is important in understanding part of what makes our politics so divisive and how we can overcome that division.

Them.jpg

As communities collapse, families and friends shrink, and labor becomes more automated, many Americans are left isolated, alienated, and desperate for roots and purpose.

Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse argues that, contrary to conventional wisdom, much of our political divisiveness isn't really about politics at all.  And the solutions are not going to come from government, but from a radical rediscovery of human relationships.

The book that started it all!  Considered by many to be the father of conservatism, Burke offers his critique of the French Revolution and inadvertently delivers the foundation of the conservative worldview.  Written in 1790s prose, it can be very difficult to untangle Burke's timeless message.  But understanding Burke is the key to understanding conservatism.

"Suicide is a choice," writes National Review senior editor, and syndicated columnist Jonah Goldberg.  In this witty and insightful book Goldberg argues we must "actively defend liberty against forces pulling us back to the tribal and nationalistic ideologies of the past" and offers a brighter, more grateful vision for the future of the West.

Widely regarded to be the father of Neoconservatism, this book contains selected essays from five decades of Irving Kristol's works.  Kristol lays out his journey from Marxism to conservatism and offers insights still very much relevant to us today.

David McCullough's definitive biography on the life and works of John Adams is a vivid and compelling story about a Founding Father with much tenacity and brilliance.  Russell Kirk considered Adams to be the father of American conservatism.  This biography tells the reasons why.

Mark Steyn is one of the wittier conservative writers today.  In America Alone, Steyn warns of the challenges facing the West in the not-too-distant future.  It's a hard-hitting examination of the importance of cultural revival and the perils that awaits us if we fail.

The Essential Russell Kirk.jpg

Russell Kirk is truly indispensable in understanding American conservative thought.  But he was such a prolific writer it can be difficult to know where to begin!  The Essential Russell Kirk is an excellent summary of his collected essays that gives the reader a broad perspective of his worldview.

Podcasts

Jonah Goldberg's podcast is not only educational and doggedly conservative, it's also incredibly entertaining.  Goldberg, a National Review senior editor and AEI Fellow, enlists a Cannonball Run style cast of stars, has-beens and never-weres to address the most pressing issues of the day.  Mixing history, pop culture, rank-punditry, political philosophy, and, at times, shameless book-plugging, Goldberg and guests will have the kinds of conversations we wish they had on cable-TV shout shows. And the nudity will (almost) always be tasteful.

Constitutionally Speaking.jpg

Hosts Jay Cost and Luke Thompson take a deep dive into how the United States Constitutions was put together and how it works.  Historically rich and insightful, each episode focuses on an aspect of the document our elected leaders swear to uphold.  For conservatism to be restored, an appreciation and understanding of our founding principles will be necessary.  This podcast is a great place to start.

orderedliberty-3000.jpg

In a world where religion is more potent than culture, and culture is more potent than politics it can be difficult to keep what matters most in view.  Conservatism has long held that order and liberty must coexist if we are to enjoy a durable, desirable society.   Join cohosts and National Review commentators Alexandra DeSanctis (fellow Millennial) and David French (definitely not a Millennial) as they take you through the debates and issues that matter most.