Today is the centennial of the birth of the conservative thinker and American man of letters, Russell Amos Kirk (October 19, 1918 – April 29, 1994).
A writer, teacher, columnist, novelist, and storyteller, Kirk defined and gave substance to American conservatism more than anyone else besides William F. Buckley Jr. Yet he often found himself at odds with prominent spokesmen for the very tendency he helped to develop [….] Kirk’s conservatism was scholastic, literary, philosophical, poetic, and non-interventionist. He clashed with the libertarians, never embraced Joseph McCarthy, held National Review at arm’s length, broke with the neoconservatives over the first Gulf War in 1990, and supported Patrick J. Buchanan in the 1992 Republican primary. Throughout his remarkable literary output […] Kirk championed the ‘permanent things’ against ideological thinking on both the left and right.