Gleaves Whitney

Gleaves Whitney, a writer, lecturer, and historian, was named the first permanent Senior Fellow of the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal in 1995.

Currently Mr. Whitney is director of the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies at Grand Valley State University in southwestern Michigan. Before his appointment to the Hauenstein Center, he was senior speechwriter and historian for Michigan Governor John Engler. He is also a Senior Scholar at the Center for the American Idea in Houston.

A graduate of Colorado State University, where he was a Fulbright Scholar, Mr. Whitney has done graduate work at the Universität Konstanz (Germany), the University of Oxford, and the University of Michigan.

In 1993 he served on Governor Engler’s task force on education, whose work led to the enactment of far-reaching reforms that the New York Times called “the most dramatic in the nation.” In 2001, he helped establish the new Michigan Department of History, Arts and Libraries. He currently serves on the Michigan Humanities Council and the State Historical Records Advisory Board. In addition to his work in politics and history, he is gaining a reputation as a leading authority on Catholic humanists in the twentieth century.

Mr. Whitney has written, edited, or contributed to several books, including John Engler: The Man, the Leader & the Legacy (2002), American Presidents: Farewell Messages to the Nation (2002), and the revised edition of Russell Kirk’s The American Cause (2003). He is currently writing a companion volume to Dr. Kirk’s The Roots of American Order, on which he frequently lectures, as well as a book on the historian Christopher Dawson. His op-ed pieces have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Detroit News, The New York Times, National Review, the Christian Science Monitor, Policy Review, Imprimis, and many others.

Photo courtesy of the Hauenstein Center.

Real progress consists in the movement of mankind toward the understanding of norms, and toward conformity to norms. Real decadence consists in the movement of mankind away from the understanding of norms, and away from obedience to norms.

Russell Kirk, Enemies of the Permanent Things, 1969

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Russell Kirk as a Midwestern Writer

A panel on “Russell Kirk as a Midwestern Writer”  took place at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature on June 2, 2015 at Michigan State University. Jon Lauck was the moderator and presentations were made by Gleaves Whitney, James Person and James Seaton. The session was recorded and is available here.

Jul 2015

Spring Newsletter

The latest number of the Russell Kirk Center newsletter (Spring 2015) has just been posted. It features news on the recent Edmund Burke Society conference and other recent visitors and scholars at the Kirk Center. You can download it, and past issues, here.

Jun 2015

ISI video draws on Kirk’s thought

The Intercollegiate Review has published a short video with Robert Reilly that was shot at Mecosta last summer. In it, Bob Reilly draws on Russell Kirk’s The Roots of American Order to explain why “America is older than you think.” The video is just two minutes long, but Bob manages to give a thoughtful introduction to three of the four cities: Jerusalem, Athens, and Rome.

Apr 2015