I’m at Bethel College in or near St. Paul, Minnesota, typing on a computer that seems to have resisted successfully cutting and pasting. Nevertheless, if you go to the NRO page you will see some nice defenses (especially Jeff Nelson’s) of Russell Kirk from the venom of Alan Wolfe in his NEW REPUBLIC review article. Wolfe has been been disfiguring himself for a while into a gross caricature of a critic with extreme anti-theological and especially anti-Christian ire. Kirk really did like all kinds of people, was a champion of the underdog, didn’t have slaves or want any (despite having a large, wonderful family), was much more interested in making the world safe for bohemians like himself than for aristocrats, loved his country, took some public policy stands that today’s liberal would like, hated Nazism and all ideological thought and practice, was a man of tremendous erudition, was a prolific and graceful writer of both cultural analysis and fiction, and made one of the most serious and likely enduring contributions to American conservative thought. He was also far from perfect as a thinker and interpreter, and his life was surely too eccentric for him to be regarded as a model of human excellence. But his flaws, of course, are part of his charm. I certainly thought Wolfe’s article was shameful enough to ignore, but it could be that even some readers of NLT would actually believe some of his scattershot allegations.