Paul Gottfried notes that while the canon of post-war conservative thinkers are valuable in their own right, that simply reading them will not likely revive that more authentic strain of conservatism:
The movement that some of our readers would like to revive is now on a life-support system. And those who may eventually succeed in redirecting the conservative movement would not likely be students of a “canon.” They would be people of action often driven by outrage, but in all likelihood not those devoted to the aesthetics of Russell Kirk. It is also an unfortunate fact that most of our canon writers who were then around did little or nothing to prevent the straying of their movement. And most of those who in the 1980s ran to collaborate with the neoconservatives claimed to be loyal disciples of the “great thinkers” of postwar conservatism.