The Boston Globe recently published this profile of the historian and Catholic intellectual, John Lukacs, tying the article to the release of his Democracy and Populism: Fear and Hatred (Yale).

Lukacs is a leading traditionalist opponent of “laws approving abortions, mercy killing, cloning, sexual ‘freedoms,’ permissiveness, [and] pornography,” trained by history to be skeptical of ”progress” whether of the right or left, and a vocal opponent since the ‘50s of what he sees as harmful populist and nationalist trends in American politics, often espoused and directed by “conservatives.”

It is easy to dismiss some conservative critics of the present administration, but it seems unwise not to pay careful attention to a man of Lukacs’ stature. His criticisms of specific policies might be overwrought or, as Richard Brookhiser of National Review suggests, tainted by his Eastern European experiences with a variety of mid-twentieth-century populisms and nationalisms, yet his principles—“[h]e favors conservation rather than conservatism; he defends the ancient blessing of the land and is dubious about the results of technology; be believes in history, not in Evolution”—are a good foundation from which contemporary conservatives can take the measure of their words (”freedom” for instance) and actions, and the national movements they inspire.