Today’s modern American conservative movement is a lot newer than most people realize. The guy generally credited for popularizing conservatism is the founder of National Review, William F. Buckley. Many prominent right-wing thought leaders can trace their ideas directly back to his movement. But where did Buckley learn and gain his passion for American exceptionalism?
Few individuals have had as profound an impact on modern conservative thought yet remain in relative obscurity as Willmoore Kendall. 📚✍️
The conservative English professor Jeffrey Hart said of Kendall that he was “the most important political theorist to have emerged in the twenty-odd years since the end of World War II.”
Kendall’s writings are thought-provoking, challenging, contentious, scrupulous, and, often, innovative. His analysis and critiques took no prisoners on both the Right and Left. His prickly personality shattered relationships with friends, family, and spouses alike. Founding editor of National Review and early mentor to William F. Buckley, Kendall was at the forefront of conservative thought. His ideas don’t entirely fit squarely within the broader warring camps on the Right today, but they are nonetheless instructive, and we ignore his arguments at our peril.🤔
Joining Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis to discuss the life and ideas of this influential yet often neglected thinker on the Right is historian Chris Owen whose new book Heaven Can Indeed Fall: The Life of Willmoore Kendall offers the definitive biography of Kendall’s life and work.
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