James E. Person Jr.

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James E. Person Jr. is a writer, editor, and lecturer who has been involved with the activities of the Kirk Center since its founding in 1995. He was named a Senior Fellow in 2011.

A graduate of the University of Michigan and the University of Denver Publishing Institute, Mr. Person has worked in publishing for over thirty years. He has edited and written for many literary, historical, and biographical reference works, including Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism, Contemporary Authors, Short Story Criticism, Rock: The Essential Album Guide, Literature Criticism from 1400 to 1800, What Do I Read Next? and many other titles, including American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia. Mr. Person is also a freelance writer who has published over 200 essays, articles, and book reviews in the Virginia Quarterly Review, Modern Age, the Detroit News, National Review, the Washington Times, the University Bookman, Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity, Crisis, the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, the Raleigh News & Observer, and other venues. He contributes a column to the University Bookman titled “The Classics Revisited.”

Mr. Person was a friend of Russell Kirk and has written and spoken extensively on his life and work. His lectures, delivered at the Kirk Center, Young America’s Foundation’s Reagan Ranch Center, and elsewhere, include such topics as “Russell Kirk’s The American Cause, Then and Now,” “‘To Renew and Rebuild Civilization’: An Introduction to T. S. Eliot and His Significance,” “A Cook’s Tour of The Conservative Mind,” “‘For Such a Time as This’: Russell Kirk and the Uses of History,” and “‘The Ancient and Honorable Pastime of Snapdragon’: An Introduction to the Fiction of Russell Kirk.”

Mr. Person produced the first two books on the distinguished man of letters: The Unbought Grace of Life: Essays in Honor of Russell Kirk (1994) and Russell Kirk: A Critical Biography of a Conservative Mind (1999). At present, he is researching, compiling, and editing “The Selected Letters of Russell Kirk.” In addition, the final stages of editorial work are being completed on a compendium titled “The Quotable Kirk.”

A native of Virginia, Mr. Person is a specialist on the literature and history of the American South, and is honored to be a friend and biographer of the Virginian writer Earl Hamner, author of Spencer’s Mountain and The Homecoming, as well as the creator of the beloved long-running television series The Waltons. (Mr. Person’s well-received biography Earl Hamner: From Walton’s Mountain to Tomorrow appeared in 2005.)

He lives in Northville, Michigan, with his wife Lista. They have two grown children, David and Rebekah.

To live with a gnawing grudge against one’s own civilization is the way to a personal Hell, not to a Terrestrial Paradise.

Russell Kirk

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Highlights

Release of 2017 number of Studies in Burke and His Time

SBHT26 Cover The Edmund Burke Society of America announces a new issue of their journal, Studies in Burke and His Time. Volume 26 (2016–2017) features papers from a 2016 conference marking the completion of the Oxford University Press edition of Burke’s Writings and Speeches. The journal is being released as a PDF and is now available for download.

Jul 2017

Historical Marker Project

In preparation for the upcoming centennial of the birth of Russell Kirk, we are pleased to announce a small campaign to fund a historical marker in his birthplace of Plymouth, Michigan. For more details and to participate, please visit the GoFundMe campaign site. The project is being coordinated by Bart Smith, a former Wilbur Fellow.

Jul 2017

American Chesterton Society Conference

We commend to our friends the upcoming conference of the American Chesterton Society, to be held this year in Colorado Springs from July 27–29. Fr. James V. Schall is among this year’s presenters.

Jun 2017