On October 1, at a dinner in Philadelphia, ISI presented Bradley J. Birzer with the 2016 Henry and Anne Paolucci Book Award for Russell Kirk: American Conservative.
A distinguished panel of judges chose this masterful biography from among five impressive finalists. The Wall Street Journal hails Birzer’s Russell Kirk as “a beautifully written and deeply insightful biography.” The Library of Law and Liberty proclaims it nothing less than “a masterwork”—“the definitive assessment of Kirk as a social, historical, and political thinker.” Likewise, the Claremont Review of Books calls Russell Kirk “the definitive book about this important, fascinating, and good man.”
Perhaps National Review best explained not only the quality but also the timeliness of Birzer’s magisterial work:
Given the confused and dispirited state of American conservatism at the present moment, it is high time for a Russell Kirk revival. The very thought of such a revival is appealing, even exhilarating, and the appearance of Bradley J. Birzer’s splendid and exhaustively researched biography of Kirk just might provide the catalyst needed to set it in motion.
At the Paolucci Award dinner, Birzer gave a stirring talk about what he learned during his extensive research into Russell Kirk’s life and writings.
You can see the talk for yourself on C-Span’s BookTV website.
About the award winner: Bradley J. Birzer holds the Russell Amos Kirk Chair in American Studies and is professor of history at Hillsdale College. He has also served as the Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought at the University of Colorado. Dr. Birzer is cofounder of the Imaginative Conservative and a fellow of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. He is the author of several other books, including American Cicero: The Life of Charles Carroll and J. R. R. Tolkien’s Sanctifying Myth: Understanding Middle-earth.