Sam Clovis leads a very busy life.
He teaches at Morningside College, where he chairs the department of business administration and economics. He hosts a radio show, "Impact with Sam Clovis" on KSCJ, 1360 am. And he also lectures on federalism and strategic management at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.
You wouldn't think Clovis would have much time for recreational reading, but he said he finds time for spy novels and true crime accounts among his academic reading.
"Depending on my time and mood, I move from project to project," he said. "Catching snipets of time for reading are greatly valued. I often use books-on-discs to keep up with some of my lighter reading interests."
Clovis recently finished "The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot" by Russell Kirk.
In the book that launched the modern American conservative moment, Kirk outlines the development of conservative thought from Edmund Burke through the evolution of British and American political philosophy up through T.S. Eliot.
"It is a remarkable tour de force," Clovis said. "Kirk, because of his status as a conservative intellect, is really the touchstone for understanding conservatism."
How did you find out about the book?
"I have long been interested in understanding political philosophy and Russell Kirk is the preeminent conservative intellectual of the 20th Century. This book was the first major publication on the topic and the first major work published by Albert Regnery."
Why did you read it?
"I am working on a book right now and having a foundation in the writings of Russell Kirk is essential for developing the arguments I think important for this project. Kirk was prolific in his writings, so reading his other works adds to that base knowledge. I am close to completing the reading of his books and have examined a host of other references on conservative thought. Kirk, however, is the starting point."
What did you think of it?
"I thought the book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the development of conservative thought over the past 200 years or so. Regardless of what side of the aisle one might find oneself, The Conservative Mind is the best, most comprehensive compilation of essays on conservative thinkers and conservatism one might find in one place."
Would you recommend it to other people?
"Yes, particularly if one is interested in political philosophy. Conservatism, "liberalism," and progressivism are not well understood by most who feel free to comment on these philosophies. This is unfortunate. One often encounters stereotypes that do not come close to accurately representing the tenets of these various political offerings. Only by investigating various points of view is one really able to construct a personal world view and understand the views of others. One should not be afraid to explore areas that might otherwise make one uncomfortable."
What are you reading next?
"I will be reading several volumes on the sermons of the Founding of the country and many of the essays that supported the ratification of the Constitution."