Gerald Russello

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Catholics in America: An Uneasy Alliance
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Catholics in America: An Uneasy Alliance

At first, it may seem Catholicism contributed little to the American founding. The Founding Fathers were Protestants or deists and had themselves mostly arrived from the formerly Catholic kingdoms of England and Scotland, many as dissenters from the initial dissent

A Question of Dots
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A Question of Dots

From the September 2010 issue of Chronicles.

John Poindexter—Navy veteran and national-security advisor during President Reagan’s second term—resigned in disgrace after congressional hearings revealed that the United States, with Poindexter’s approval and with the help of an enterprising young

The Declaration Now—and Then
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The Declaration Now—and Then

From the June 2016 issue of Chronicles.

In 1996, Barry Alan Shain published his Myth of American Individualism: The Protestant Origins of American Political Thought.  It was a book that should have shaken professional conservatism to its foundations.  At

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The Seedbed of Renewal

beauty_will_save_the_world

From the November 2011 issue of Chronicles.

Many people who consider themselves conservative are woefully ignorant of the culture they claim to defend.  The list of causes is long: Television has largely destroyed storytelling, public school denigrates the idea of

Conservatism in the Time of Trump
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Conservatism in the Time of Trump

The election of Donald Trump has upended the expectations of what paleoconservatives and others have long called Conservatism, Inc.  The influence of establishment conservatism all but evaporated during the primaries, as its chosen champions—Bush, Rubio, Cruz, Jindal, and the rest—fell

The Declaration Now—and Then
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The Declaration Now—and Then

In 1996, Barry Alan Shain published his Myth of American Individualism: The Protestant Origins of American Political Thought.  It was a book that should have shaken professional conservatism to its foundations.  At the time Patrick J. Buchanan was a

Two Experiments
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Two Experiments

It is a commonplace among American conservatives that, at some point in the past, the way Americans understood their constitutional and cultural tradition diverged from the reality of the constitutional order established in 1787.  For the Southern Agrarians and their

The Ability to See
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The Ability to See

Through books on subjects ranging from wine to hunting, music to environmentalism, British philosopher Roger Scruton has constructed a multifaceted attack on liberalism.  In his latest book, Scruton addresses the contention that religion is a byproduct of our culture or

The Uses of American Government
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The Uses of American Government

That the republic has degenerated from a Protestant-inflected localized republic to a centralized bureaucratic imperial state is something most conservatives take for granted.  The reason for such a transformation, however, sometimes becomes more assumed than proved.  This compounds the difficulty

The Agrarian Burden
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The Agrarian Burden

Recently, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute hosted a panel discussion on the “great books of conservatism,” among which was Richard Weaver’s 1948 work Ideas Have Consequences.  The title, as one panelist noted, has become something of a catchphrase on the

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Mr. Eliot’s Double Life

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These two massive volumes—the first published originally in 1988, the second now joining it with much fanfare—chronicle the period during which T.S. Eliot developed from the scion of a prosperous Midwestern family to the poet of The Waste Land

The Seedbed of Renewal
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The Seedbed of Renewal

Many people who consider themselves conservative are woefully ignorant of the culture they claim to defend.  The list of causes is long: Television has largely destroyed storytelling, public school denigrates the idea of a common culture, and the internet has

A Question of Dots
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A Question of Dots

John Poindexter—Navy veteran and national-security advisor during President Reagan’s second term—resigned in disgrace after congressional hearings revealed that the United States, with Poindexter’s approval and with the help of an enterprising young lieutenant colonel named Oliver North, was selling

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Who Are You? The Law of Status

What do veterans, drug users, children, and suspected terrorists have in common?  They all have specialized courts to deal with them and their legal issues.  Illinois has become the latest state to set up a special “veterans’ court” to handle

Whispers From Kirk
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Whispers From Kirk

Stan Evans has described bodies of thought as having “lifecycles”; they emerge, thrive for a while, and, unless continually nourished, eventually hollow out and pass away.  Having reached the end of its lifecycle, liberalism, as a coherent body of thought,

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Statement of Confusion

“Catholic Members of Congress Express Concern Over Church Sanctions,” the press-release headline blared.  Finally, I thought, Catholic politicians are waking up to the increasingly tight legal restrictions being brought to bear on religious groups.  After all, California and New York

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The Education Mantra

Back in October, Democrats and Republicans, following the release of the nation’s employment numbers by the U.S. Department of Labor, retreated into their usual preelection fantasia.  Democrats trotted out the class-warfare tropes, while Republicans continued living in their dreamworld, where

The Fixer
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The Fixer

This new biography of one of the great “fixers” in American political life, James F. Byrnes, creates the impression of an American Ozymandias, proclaiming by example the ephemerality of human greatness. Byrnes and his political colleagues did mold the world

Real Jews
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Real Jews

Exploration of the relationship between Jews and America is far from complete, at least among Jewish conservatives, who do not rely on their religious traditions as explicitly as do some among the Christian right. There has been some speculation in

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A New Campaign

Donna Shalala, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, recently said at a press conference: “We have the knowledge and the technology to prevent the spread [of AIDS]. What we have lacked until now is the political will.”

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The Latest Rage

“Real life” crime shows are the latest rage on American television. Feeding on this fury, there is now for sale an encyclopedia of crime, where one can examine the “true stories” of deranged persons like Jeffrey Dahmer. The first book

Sensitivity-The Only Requirement
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Sensitivity-The Only Requirement

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 

Edward Gibson tells us that, about 250 A.D., the Goths came down from the Ukraine and took the city of Marcianopolis. To save their lives and property, the people of the city gave the Gothic warriors “a

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Washington Public-Relations

Washington public-relations and lobbying firms have begun to accept clients and staff from either party and from any point on the political spectrum, overcoming their former one-party only tradition. The newest example of this trend is the firm of Powell

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Circumlocutions & Obfuscations

Georgetown University, the foremost Jesuit institution in the United States, one that was called the “alma mater of Catholic colleges in America” by Pope Pius IX, and a university that boasts of a renowned Bioethics Institute, has recently allowed an