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George F. Will on ‘The Conservative Sensibility’

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“The proper question for conservatives is: What do you seek to conserve? The proper answer is concise but deceptively simple: We seek to conserve the American Founding.”

So writes George Will in his new book, “The Conservative Sensibility.” But what does it mean to conserve the Founding, and the classical liberal tradition that helped inspire it? Further, is classical liberalism still a viable animating philosophy for modern times and modern countries? George Will himself joined this episode to discuss these questions. We also cover why conservatives should rethink their support for judicial restraint, whether religious belief is a necessary component of a conservative sensibility, the aims of higher education, and much more.

George F. Will writes a twice-weekly syndicated column for the Washington Post, a column he began in 1974 and won the Pulitzer Prize for in 1977. Before writing “The Conservative Sensibility” he authored 15 previous books, including “Statecraft as Soulcraft” and “Men at Work.” He grew up in Champaign, Illinois, attended Trinity College and the University of Oxford, and received a PhD from Princeton University.

You can subscribe to Banter on iTunesStitcher, or the podcast player of your choice, and archived episodes can be found at This is Banter episode #367.

Related links:

Statecraft as Soulcraft: What Government Does

Andrew Sullivan’s review of “The Conservative Sensibility”

“Rehabilitating Lochner”

F. A. Hayek’s “The Constitution of Liberty”

George Will’s Washington Post column

George Will’s address at Princeton

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