Top Ten Conservative Books, 1924-1954

"First, Irving Babbitt’s only book dealing with politics, Democracy and Leadership (1924). No one would accuse Babbitt of writing well. Equally true, however, no one would accuse the man of thinking poorly. Reading Babbitt sets one on edge, as his razor sharp logic slices through everything around him. The book itself is an intellectual journey, filled with beauties and wonders, as well as with sobering prophecies. In thought and structure, especially, it guided Russell Kirk’s The Conservative Mind, itself a worthy and much better written sequel to Democracy and Leadership. The greatest thing a man can do, Babbitt argued, is restrain himself. But, he can only do this through the assertion of will."