coin much that requires saying. Ourndifferences are taken up by Bradford inna chapter of his earher book A BetternGuide Than Reason—he crihcizingnmy section on Lincoln in The Roots ofnAmerican Order.nMr. Bradford allots 10 pages of RememberingnWho We Are to an essay onnRichard Weaver, Agrarian. One thingnhe does not mention about Weaver isnthe interesting fact that Weaver was annenthusiastic, wholehearted admirer ofnLincoln. He approved of Lincoln farnmore thoroughly than does this reviewer.nFor Weaver, so earnest anSoutherner, was a Mountain Whignfrom East Tennessee, a sept hereditarilynattached to Union and Lincoln.nWeaver argued that Lincoln was anbetter mentor for conservatives than isnBurke: for (in Weaver’s judgment) Lincolnnargued from definition, Burkenmerely from circumstance.nNow Bradford, contrariwise, instructsnus that we ought to act accordingnto circumstances, not on the ideologicalnground of abstract principle.nRepeatedly, in this slim volume, henmakes that point convincingly. Bradfordnis an advocate of the politics ofnprudence, not the politics of definition;nhe praises Burke for this; hendetests the political metaphysicians ofnthree centuries.nThen what of Bradford on Weaver?nWhy, in a footnote Bradford advises usnnot to “infer overmuch from hisn[Weaver’s] choice of illustrative materials”nin his Ethics of Rhetoric; thatnbook is “a piece of strategy,” Bradfordnargues; somehow Weaver’s praise ofnLincoln and rejection of Burke mustnbe part of that “disarming” strategy.nIndeed! Either Bradford is disingenuousnhere, or else he is very ready tondelude himself, out of affection fornWeaver.nNor is this the only aspect of Weavernto which Bradford shuts his eyes. EornBradford makes abundantly clear hisndetestation of the doctrine of “naturalnrights,” with its ruinous political consequences.nBut Weaver more thannonce endorsed natural-rights notions,nin particular an alleged “absolute rightnto private property”—which, as thisnreviewer has pointed out elsewhere, isna “right” that never has existed anywhere,nin an absolute form, nor cannexist in society or out of it.nI am suggesting that Richard Weav-nBOOKS IN BRIEFnTlie Oxford Book of Prayer, edited by George Appleton; Oxford University Press. Anynprayer anthology that stretches from the Bible to Reinhold Niebuhr (and beyond) is bound tonbe welcome in these dark times. However, this very useful volume could have done withoutn”prayers from other traditions” and without quite so many contributions from the editor—36nto Augustine’s 9!nWe Believe: A Commentary on tfie Catechism of Christian Doctrine by the Rt. Rev. Mgr.nA.N. Gilbey with a foreword by Auberon Waugh; Progress Press, Malta; available from P.O.nBox 4127 “WE BELIEVE,” Heritage Drive, Portsmouth, NH 03801; $23 hard cover, $14nsoft. A lucid and sometimes moving introduction to the essentials of the Catholic faith andnanother splendid document of English Catholicism.nHoly Disobedience: When Christians Must Resist the State by Lynn Buzzard and PaulanCampbell; Servant; Ann Arbor. A well-intentioned examination of religiously based civilndisobedience, but the authors have bitten off more than they can chew: of the vast seriousncommentary on the problem, which includes Rawls, Dworkin, Walzer among contemporarynphilosophers, there is only a misleading reference to Rawls. The authors claim to be offeringnpractical guidelines: we hope they are insured against malpractice suits from holy disobedientsnwho find themselves in jail.ner, for all his bulldog resolution andnhis frequent high insights, was notninvariably a better guide than reason.nAlso I am suggesting that Bradford’snaffection for fellow-Agrarians andnfellow-Southerners and fellowconservativesncan diminish the acuitynof his critical faculties on occasion. Ifnit will not do to erect a graven image innthe likeness of Lincoln, neither will itndo to erect a graven image in thenlikeness of Richard Weaver. It is quitentrue that, as Bradford suggests. Weavern”was something of a puzzle for hisnfriends within the American ‘conservativenestablishment.'” Being a NorthernnAgrarian, this reviewer did not findnhim puzzling in that fashion. But itnwould be puzzling indeed to try tonreconcile Weaver’s adulation of Lincolnnwith Bradford’s detestation, andnWeaver’s advocacy of “definition” withnBradford’s defense of “circumstance.”nM.E. Bradford, despite his kindlinessnto those deserving of kindliness, isna good hater. “They will never lovenwhere they ought to love who do notnhate where they ought to hate,” EdmundnBurke wrote. Hating centralizers.nUtilitarians, Libertarians, nihilists,nand levelling ideologues, Bradfordnmakes enemies by the vigor of hisnrhetoric. But also he makes friends bynhis eloquence and his uprightness; andnhe lives with honor.nAt the time of his candidacy for thenchairmanship of NEH, Bradford’snadversaries — many of whom nevernhad beheld him—endeavored to representnhim as some manner of extremist.nActually he is a centrist, political­nnnly, in terms of the conservativenpolitical climate of opinion that prevailsnin America today. “People seemnto think it a compliment to accuse onenof being an outsider, and to talk aboutnthe eccentricities of genius,” one ofnO.K. Chesterton’s characters exclaims.n”What would they think if Insaid I only wish to God I had thencentricities of genius?”nThanks be to God, M.E. Bradford isnendowed with some degree of thencentricities of genius. He thinks withinnour patrimony of order and justice andnfreedom. With these postulates, atnpresent he is at work on a study, piousnin the old Roman sense of that abusednword, of the religious convictions ofnthe framers of the Constitution of thenUnited States. His strong essay in thisnvolume, “And God Defend the Right:nThe American Revolution and thenLimits of Christian Obedience,” isnpart of this endeavor. It contains memorablenpassages, particularly this:n”Contrary to the opinions of many ofnmy closest allies, the American regimenat the national level was not created tonpromote virtue or religion but to allownfor the promotion of virtue by societyn—in some cases with the assistance ofnstate and local authorities.”nConsiderably acquainted with practicalnpolitics, humorous, patient,nlearned, and good-natured, M.E.nBradford is a man of thought who doesnnot retreat from our present discontents.nWe need to pay attention to himnas the bicentenary of the Constitutionnapproaches. ccnJANUARY 1986 / 9n