After fifteen months away, I have returned to The American Conservative as an associate editor. I left the magazine at the end of 2006 to go to work for ISI Books; as TAC‘s literary editor, I had occasionally wondered what I should do next, and two thoughts I had were that it might be fun to work on the other side of the publishing industry, editing books rather than reviewing them, and that I’d like to do more on-line writing and editing. ISI gave me the opportunity to do both: to edit and commission books — Peter Stanlis’s Robert Frost: The Poet as Philosopher, Carle Zimmerman’s Family and Civilization, and Justin Raimondo’s Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement were three that I worked on — and to be involved in the creation of ISI’s web journal, First Principles.
What I found in my year at ISI was that I enjoy reviewing books and editing articles more than editing books, and as plans for First Principles underwent various changes, I left ISI and joined the Ron Paul 2008 campaign as its internet communications coordinator, overseeing its official blog, the Daily Dose. That was great fun and and exciting work in the service of the worthiest cause in politics — not just Ron Paul, but the cause of a peaceful foreign policy and strictly limited government at home. Of course, campaigns are not permanent things, unless you’re Alan Keyes, and the Paul effort began to wind down at the end of February.
Even when I wasn’t working there, I remained close to The American Conservative as a contributing editor and alumnus, so when I left the Ron Paul campaign a return to TAC seemed logical. They were willing to have me back, and so I am back. My duties now include a new TAC project whose details I can’t yet reveal, as well as a variety of editorial responsibilities. Of course, I’ll be continuing to write, too: the forthcoming issue (March 24) includes my two-in-one review of Alfred Regnery’s Upstream: The Ascendance of American Conservatism and Donald Critchlow’s The Conservative Ascendancy: How the GOP Right Made Political History.
Outside of TAC I have a few side projects humming along nicely. There should be two Robert Taft Club events in quick succession in late March and early April — more details on those very shortly. I have a couple of freelance essays and reviews in the works, and am making plans, in the abstract at least, for one or two big new initiatives. TAC, however, is where I hang my hat, and after having had the chance to try a few new things, I’m happy to be return.