Before heading off to hear George Nash's talk at the Heritage Foundation yesterday I happened to have a look at the new Fall/Winter 2006/7 catalog from ISI Books, which had just arrived on my desk. Even by the usual high standards of ISI Books, there are some exceptional offerings coming later this year. October brings the 30th anniversary edition of Nash's seminal Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945, with a new preface — ten years after Nash last revised the work. I'll be interested to see his take on developments in conservatism between Dole and Bush II. (His Heritage talk gives me a pretty good idea of what to expect, I think.) The same month also sees the advent of the paperback edition, also with a new introduction, of Jeffrey Hart's The Making of the American Conservative Mind. Bruce Bartlett recommended the book to attendees at the Robert Taft Club last week, and I'll add my endorsement: if Nash's book is the definitive history of intellectual conservatism from '45 to '75 or so, Hart's book gives something of the flavor and spirit of life at National Review while the movement was at its apogee — a view from within to complement Nash's scholarly view from without. We also get Hart's thoughts on the depleted state of conservatism in the Bush era, something which I'm sure the new introduction will expand upon.
ISI's big book for November, bigger even than its 650 pages might suggest, is The Solzhenitsyn Reader, edited by Daniel J. Mahoney and Edward Ericson, Jr. "More than one quarter" of the book's material "has never before appeared in English," according to the catalog. Nonetheless, I'm personally more eagerly looking forward to another November title, The Essential Russell Kirk, edited and with an introduction by Modern Age editor George Panichas. Panichas is one of the few people who can be trusted to get Kirk right and to shed some new light on a man often treated more as a figurehead than as the idiosyncratic thinker that he was. The Essential Russell Kirk includes 44 essays — "Kirk was perhaps at his best as an essayist," the ad copy suggests, and setting aside The Conservative Mind and one or two other major works, that may well be true. Also in November, readers of Rod Dreher's Crunchy Cons will enjoy Joseph Pearce's Small Is Still Beautiful: Economics as if Families Mattered, in which Pearce revists the work of E.F. Schumacher. (If I were a physician, I might have to prescribe a megadose of Mises to go with that, though.)
Meawhile, I'm working my way through the 900 or so pages of American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia in order to give it a proper review, which so far few outlets have afforded this tremendous work. Look for it in a few weeks.