Gertrude Himmelfarb: Teacher of the Free and Virtuous Society

Since the passing of Gertrude Himmelfarb I have been reflecting on just how much she taught me through her voluminous historical scholarship. In this week’s Acton Line Podcast I interviewed Yuval Levin, Resident Scholar and Director of Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies at AEI, who was also her student. Continue Reading...

Lord Acton and the two types of nationalism

Kai Weiss, Research Fellow at the Austrian Economics Center, has a new essay on Law and Liberty exploring Lord Acton’s thoughts on nationalism: A little-known 1862 work called Nationality by Lord Acton can perhaps shed new light, too, on the topic. Continue Reading...

Sohrab Ahmari’s biggest mistake

The debate between Sohrab Ahmari and David French has sparked a useful conversation about the means and ends of liberty. In that discussion, both men make valid criticisms and both sometimes fall short, but a recent column by Ahmari reveals perhaps the most glaring error in his perspective. Continue Reading...

Can a big bad state deliver us from evil?

Thirty five years ago the American novelist Thomas Pynchon asked the question, “Is It O.K. To Be A Luddite?” The occasion was the then 25th anniversary of C.P. Snow’s Rede Lecture, “The Two Cultures of the Scientific Revolution,” which argued, way back in 1959, that our culture was increasingly polarized into “literary” and “scientific” factions unable to understand each other. Continue Reading...