Thursday, January 05, 2006

A half-hour well spent with Tom Woods.

I just spent a half-hour watching an archived lecture by Thomas E. Woods, given at the Von Mises Institute recently, on Robert Nisbet, whom Woods places alongside Richard M. Weaver and Russell Kirk in the triumvirate of American traditional conservatives. Woods is a good speaker and his discussion of Nisbet's conservative argument against war, militarism, and the executive was a nice, concise exercise in laying out a respectable case against the status quo. I'd recommend that anyone with a little time watch it via www.lewrockwell.com. Click here for the Tom Woods page, and go to Conservatism's F├╝hrerprinzip, for either the video or the audio version. For complete access to all Tom Woods' presentations (some audio, some video), click here. I haven't listened to any of these others yet, but now I have something more intellectually profitable to do than blog, eh?

Woods' short lecture also inspired me to get out and flip through my old copy of John P. East's great little book of biographies, The American Conservative Movement, and, as when I hear any conservative academic talk, brought back fond memories of graduate school, where I wrote my MA thesis on two aspects of Richard M. Weaver's work, where I had a chance to read extensively from Russell Kirk, and where I discovered (with the help of a protestant or perhaps agnostic major professor) the work of historian Christopher Dawson. I must admit that I did not spend much time with Prof. Nisbet, though.

My memories of the MA program are not fond on the whole--the institutional and economic aspects of grad school were unpleasant--but I do reminisce about the two years I spent in my independent study and reading.

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