TAKEN UNSERIOUSLY

So many of you asked me to say more about Michael Oakeshott that I dug up a Diarist I wrote for The New Republic after his death. I hope it presuades some of you to read him. The best place to start is probably “Rationalism In Politics,” although it can lead the new reader astray a little about the sheer ambition of his work. “On Human Conduct” is, in my opinion, the masterpiece. And his final collection, “On History,” also has some gems. Anyway, the Diarist is posted opposite. The final metaphor is Oakeshott’s own, which I also pilfered for ‘Virtually Normal.” I love the image of wildflowers. Like Oakeshott’s prose, they are often as beautiful as they are rarely noticed.