Birzer and his award-winning book (Josh Paladino/Collegian)

The Inter­col­le­giate Studies Institute rec­og­nized “Russell Kirk: The American Con­ser­v­ative,” as this year’s best book to advance con­ser­v­ative prin­ciples.

In Sep­tember, the biog­raphy, written by Pro­fessor of History Bradley Birzer, won ISI’s Paolucci Award. According to Jed Donahue, ISI vice pres­ident of pub­li­ca­tions, his­torian Wilfred M. McClay said the book could begin a Kirkian movement.

“Given the con­fused and dispirited state of American con­ser­vatism at the present moment, it is high time for a Russell Kirk revival,” McClay said. “The appearance of Bradley J. Birzer’s splendid and exhaus­tively researched biog­raphy of Kirk just might provide the cat­alyst needed to set it in motion.”

Birzer’s book beat four other finalists: The Her­itage Foundation’s Ryan T. Anderson’s, National Review’s Charles C. W. Cooke’s, The Claremont Institute’s Robert Curry, and Sen. Mike Lee, R‑Ut.

Birzer said he wants the biog­raphy to dis­tin­guish Kirk’s con­ser­vatism from today’s main­stream con­ser­vatism.

“Kirk’s con­ser­vatism was deeply humane,” Birzer said. “He wanted us to con­serve the best and the most beau­tiful of the past.”