Left and Right

H. L. Mencken Club 2012 Conference

Click here to register.

The Agenda for the 2012 H. L. Mencken Club meeting, to be held November 9-11, has been finalized. The theme for this year’s conference is “Challenging the Historical Consensus”. This conference will deal with critical turning points in history. We shall be examining the received and politically predictable judgments about critical turning points in modern history and then offering alternative interpretations that one is not likely to encounter in conventional academic settings.  As always, attendees are encouraged to question or challenge the speakers, and we expect the sessions and social discussions to be informative and lively.

We’ll be meeting this year at a different hotel, near our previous location and just as convenient for anyone flying into BWI Airport or traveling by car.  The accommodations will be excellent.

Click here for a detailed listing of this year’s speakers and topics.

The Fifth Annual H.L. Mencken Club Conference

Challenging the Historical Consensus

November 9-11, 2012

Friday, November 9

5:00 – 7:00 p.m. – Registration

7:00 p.m. – Banquet:

Greetings – Richard Spencer, former assistant editor at The American Conservative and executive editor at Taki’s Magazine (takimag.com), he is the founder and co-editor of AlternativeRight.com and the executive director of the National Policy Institute and Washington Summit Publishing

Remembering Sam Francis – Fran Griffin, founder of Griffin Communications and the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation, publisher of Shots Fired, Sam Francis on America’s Culture War (2007) and an upcoming collection of essays by Joe Sobran

President’s Remarks – Paul Gottfried, author of nine books including, Leo Strauss and the Conservative Movement in America (2012)

Saturday, November 10

9:00 – 10:15 a.m.

Rethinking the American Founding

Moderator: Jim Kalb, lawyer (J.D., Yale Law School) and author, The Tyranny of Liberalism: Understanding and Overcoming Administered Freedom, Inquisatorial Tolerance, and Equality by Command (2008)

“A Protestant Founding” – Barry Shain, Professor of Political Science at Colgate University, former member of the board of editors for Modern Age and Political Science Reviewer

“A Peculiar Founding; or the Neocons Are Right about America being a Propositional Nation.” – Richard Spencer

“A Mixed Founding” – Robert Heineman, Professor of Political Science at Alfred University, author of many articles and books on political science, including Authority and the Liberal Tradition: From Hobbes to Rorty

10:45 a.m – 12:00 p.m.

Facism & the Right

Moderator: Stanley Payne, Professor emeritus of history at the University of Wisconsin-Michigan, author of nineteen books on modern Spain and Fascism. His most recent book is Spain: A Unique History.

“The Cultural-Literary Setting of Fascism” – Thomas Bertonneau, visiting Professor of English at the State University of New York College, Oswego, New York.  He holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from UCLA. He has contributed to numerous journals and websites including Alternative Right, and is co-author of The Truth Is Out There: Christian Faith and the Classics of TV Science Fiction.

“Facism as a Counter-Revolutionary Imitation” – Paul Gottfried

“The Authoritarian Right: An Appreciation of Francisco Franco” – James Kurth, the Claude Smith Professor of Political Science at Swarthmore College, widely published author on international affairs and connection between politics and religion

12:30 – 1:30 p.m.


Mencken’s Mind – Special Guest Speaker

2:00 – 3:30 p.m.

Revising Key Historical Turning Points

Moderator: Lee Congdon, professor of history (emeritus), James Madison University; author of George Kennan: A Writing Life (2008), and numerous other books on central European cultural history.

“How Good Was ‘The Good War’?” – Keith Preston, chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com, he was awarded the 2008 Chris R. Tame Memorial Prize by the United Kingdom’s Libertarian Alliance for his essay, “Free Enterprise: The Antidote to Corporate Plutocracy.”

“The Republicans’ Record in the Spanish Civil War” – Stanley Payne

“How Unique was American Slavery?” – Robert Paquette, professor of American history at Hamilton College, he received his Ph. D. with honors in 1982 from the University of Rochester. He has published dozens of books and articles on the history of slavery. His Sugar Is Made with Blood (Wesleyan University Press, 1988) won the Elsa Goveia Prize, given every three years by the Association of Caribbean Historians for the best book in Caribbean history.

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Education—Hope for Revival?

Moderator: Jim Kalb

“Club Med University” – Bob Weissberg, author of Pernicious Tolerance and other books including Bad Students, not Bad Schools (2012); Professor of Political Science, New York University; Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois

“The Setting for a Scientific Awakening” – Michael Hart, author of three books on history, various scientific papers, and controversial articles on various other subjects. His best known book is The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History. His most recent book is Understanding Human History, which is a history of humanity beginning about 100,000 years ago and going through the 20th century.

7:00 – 10:00 p.m.


Greetings – Richard Spencer

Debate & Discussion “Was the Conservative Movement Destined to Go Bad?”

John Derbyshire, mathematician and cultural commentator will discuss his new book of the same title. He is the author of several other books including Prime Obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics (2003).

Peter Brimelow, financial journalist, founder of Vdare.com, author of several books including Alien Nation: Common Sense about America’s Immigraion Disaster (1995)

Sunday, November 11

9:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Member’s Breakfast and Roundtable

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