James Kalb

James Kalb is the author of The Tyranny of Liberalism.

Latest by James Kalb in Chronicles

  • Remembering Robert Nisbet
    Remembering the Right
    January 1, 2020

    Remembering Robert Nisbet

    It is hard to imagine anyone today having a career like Robert Nisbet’s: professor at Berkeley, Arizona, and Columbia; dean and vice-chancellor at the University of California, Riverside; author of widely used sociology textbooks; and co-founder, along with his friend Russell Kirk and a few others, of postwar intellectual American conservatism. Nisbet greatly admired Edmund Burke and Alexis de Tocqueville. Like them, he combined liberal sympathies with deep respect for tradition and the varied local communities in which it finds its natural home. The combination, together with his intellectual acumen, made him a favorite of the early neoconservatives, who were a group of leftist intellectuals shocked out of complacency by the ’60s and looking for ways to limit the excesses of what was called progress.

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  • Secular Nationalism Is Not Enough
    Correspondence
    March 7, 2019

    Secular Nationalism Is Not Enough

    The Turkic peoples began as steppe nomads, then became soldiers and eventually farmers and city-dwellers. As they made these transitions they came to dominate ancient centers along the Silk Road.

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  • The Center Doesn’t Hold Here
    Views
    May 5, 2018

    The Center Doesn’t Hold Here

    How do you make sense of New York? There’s lots of intelligence, talent, and ambition here. There’s also a lot of insanity. When Barack Obama won his first presidential election people in my neighborhood partied in the streets all night.

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  • Why Are We Here?
    Reviews
    December 2, 2017

    Why Are We Here?

    Where does life come from, and why is it what it is? These are great mysteries. Even so, Darwinian theorists tell us it is nothing but a mechanical process that in principle is entirely explicable by reference to biochemistry, and thus to well-known properties of matter.

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  • Correspondence
    November 5, 2017

    Worse at What It Is

    New York is always changing: It’s the city that never sleeps. When local writer Kay Hymowitz wrote a book about Brooklyn recently she talked about “creative destruction” on almost every other page. She had a point, and the city has seen both sides of the process.

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