Alan Wolfe on Russell Kirk:
Everything wrong with Kirk's conservatism can be found in his treatment of religion. When the moment comes that trite animadversions will no longer suffice and he must deal with an actual intellectual problem, Kirk runs away. The result is a denunciation of everything that we modern people do without any convincing account of how anything could be done differently. One knows this immediately, because as soon as Kirk arrives at his conundrum he does what all conservatives do when they find themselves in an impossible situation: he quotes Yeats's "The Second Coming," the most abused poem in the English language. However passionate everyone else may be and however blood-dimmed the world has become, Kirk assures his fellow conservatives, he is one of the best, full of conviction, holding to a center that everyone else has abandoned.