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America's British culture

Author: Russell Kirk
Publisher: New Brunswick (U.S.A.) : Transaction Publishers, ©1993.
Series: Library of conservative thought.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
It is an incontestable fact of history that the United States, although a multiethnic nation, derives its language, mores, political purposes, and institutions from Great Britain. The two nations share a common history, religious heritage, pattern of law and politics, and a body of great literature. Yet America cannot be wholly confident that this heritage will endure forever. Declining standards in education and  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Russell Kirk
ISBN: 156000066X 9781560000662
OCLC Number: 25630875
Description: ix, 122 pages ; 24 cm.
Contents: The necessity for a general culture --
The language and the literature --
The supremacy of law --
The heritage of representative government --
Mores and minds --
Renewing a shaken culture --
Appendix : what did Americans inherit from the ancients?
Series Title: Library of conservative thought.
Responsibility: Russell Kirk.

Abstract:

It is an incontestable fact of history that the United States, although a multiethnic nation, derives its language, mores, political purposes, and institutions from Great Britain. The two nations share a common history, religious heritage, pattern of law and politics, and a body of great literature. Yet America cannot be wholly confident that this heritage will endure forever. Declining standards in education and the strident claims of multiculturalists threaten to sever the vital Anglo-American link that ensures cultural order and continuity. In America's British Culture, Russell Kirk offers a brilliant summary account and spirited defense of the culture that the people of the United States have inherited from Great Britain. Kirk's view of culture links high achievement in mind and art with the folkways of a people, the former both growing from and guiding the latter. Within this order he discerns four essential fashions in which the British mind and experience have shaped American culture. The language and literature of England as transmitted to America carried with it a tradition of liberty and order as well as certain assumptions about the human condition and ethical conduct. American common and positive law, being derived from English law, gives fuller protection to the individual than does the legal system of any other country. The American form of representative government is patterned on the English parliamentary system. Finally, there is the body of mores - moral habits, beliefs, conventions, customs - that compose an ethical heritage. Through penetrating considerations of such influences and observers as Burke, Blackstone, Bryce, and Eliot, Kirk shows how the English inheritance has determined the success and stability of the American Republic. His powerfully argued case against multiculturalism points to the intellectual vacuity and betrayal embodied in its destructive hostility toward values of individual liberty and intellectual freedom. Elegantly written and deeply learned, America's British Culture is an insightful inquiry into history and a timely plea for cultural renewal and continuity.

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-Kirk chronicles the transference of British traditions across the Atlantic not with the xenophobia of stereotypical cultural conservatives but rather with the scrupulous care of a seasoned thinker: Read more...

 
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