The University Bookman


Winter 2015

Editor’s Note

The Bookman at Its Best

Dear Friends,

This has been a wonderful year for the Bookman and our circle of friends, writers, and supporters. The Bookman published over a hundred reviews, essays, interviews, and symposia in 2014. Among them we would note the symposia we held on James Poulos’s important essay on the “pink police state,” including contributions from such rising conservative writers as Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry and J. Arthur Bloom, and on the presence of religion in virtual worlds.

Our most-read pieces for 2014 include Pedro Blas González’s essay on the difference between happiness and joy, Mackinder’s geopolitics, an interview with historian George Nash about Hoover’s war against collectivism, and a look at Eliot’s Prufrock in graphic novel form. This range of pieces shows the Bookman at its best: furthering the Permanent Things through new voices and classic texts, and comparing new books against old truths.

Our reviewers were also recognized, with one—Caleb Stegall—being selected for the Kansas Supreme Court, our first Bookman jurist! The law is something we have long covered, being suspicious as our founder Russell Kirk was of archonocracy, or rule of judges. We would refer Mr. Justice Stegall to, among other pieces, Bruce Frohnen on judicial review in April, and a consideration of Edward Coke and the Western legal tradition this past August. Now-Justice Stegall last wrote for us on The Wizard of Oz and his home state.

Two other reviewers also had their Bookman pieces republished. Gene Schlanger’s critical piece on poet Cynthia Olds was selected for inclusion in Gale’s Contemporary Literary Criticism, and James Seaton included his Bookman essay, “A Stirring Defense of the Conversation” for his new volume, Literary Criticism from Plato to Postmodernism: The Humanistic Alternative.

We have much more planned for 2015, but we need your help. As you may know, The University Bookman is run by part-time staff on a budget funded almost entirely from donations and grants. Our available funds will not cover our plans for the new year, including more symposia, attracting more conservative writers of talent, and publishing more e-books, among other areas. We would deeply appreciate any support you can offer for the continued success of the nation’s oldest conservative book review.

The past few years have seen a rise in book reviews; reading as a serious intellectual pursuit is not dead—far from it. Yet unfortunately few of these new reviews make room for conservative voices. We like to think there are enough conservatives and others who enjoy good writing about important books to support an effort like the Bookman, so please tell others about us, follow us on Twitter, or join our Facebook page.

And please consider a donation. You can donate to us here through the Russell Kirk Center. Thank you very much for your support!  

Gerald J. Russello

Posted: December 29, 2014 in Editor’s Notes.

Did you see this one? book cover

Resisting Ideology’s Reductionism
Richard M. Gamble
Summer 2012

A “conservative character [is] suspicious of doctrinaire alteration, respectful toward history, preferring variety over uniformity, acknowledging a moral order composed of human persons, not of mere political and economic atoms subservient to the state.”

Russell Kirk, A Program for Conservatives, 1954


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More from the Bookman!

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What’s Good for GM is Good for Marcuse
Grant Havers

What Punishment? Whose Community?
Charles Fain Lehman

The Judges’ Law Book: A Major Study of John Selden
W. Bradford Littlejohn

Everything You Think You Know About Fascism Is Wrong
Scott Beauchamp

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William F. Meehan III

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Bookman Contributors Elsewhere

Daniel McCarthy and the case for tariffs, in the New York Times.

William Anthony Hay had a prescient piece on Italy in 2011 in the National Interest.

Gerald Russello is featured on the Common Ground podcast from the Hauenstein Center, discussing the Bookman and conservative magazines.

Martyn Wendell Jones on Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker.

Stephen Presser has been named the visiting scholar of conservative thought and policy at the University of Colorado at Boulder for 2018–2019.

David Pietrusza appeared on C-Span to discuss his book, 1920: The Year of the Six Presidents.

More …


We are pleased to announce the release of The University Bookman on Edmund Burke, now available for Kindle. Collecting 21 reviews, essays, and interviews from the Bookman on the life and thought of Edmund Burke, this book is only $2.99, and purchases support our ongoing work to provide an imaginative defense of the Permanent Things. (3 Mar 2015)

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