Rod Dreher, an Appreciation
For twelve years, Rod Dreher’s blog was an indispensable voice at The American Conservative. It launched three New York Times bestselling books and injected the public square with provocative and timely antidotes to the secular progressive ailments of our time. Rod remains perhaps the most incisive cultural commentator of our current moment. His ability to identify cultural trends early, and offer actionable strategies for conservatives to resist the cultural tide, has made him among the best in the business.
As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, we are fortunate to be supported by a broad base of individuals and foundations who believe in our mission to advance a “Main Street” vision for conservatism. While our supporters often like to fund specific programs and talent at the organization, the diversified nature of our financial support provides us a level of resilience to the changing interests of our supporters.
Additionally, as Rod wrote in his gracious sign-off post, TAC’s strategy is changing a bit. The media landscape in 2023 is quite different than it was in 2011, when Rod’s prolific blog came to TAC. The rise of Substack has further differentiated the way audiences read personality-driven blogs from the way they read middle-brow magazines of ideas. As TAC looks to increase our influence and become a premier magazine of the Right, the time was right to refocus on the core content areas of our type of publication: original reporting, commentary, and magazine features.
Contrary to reports, there is no concern from TAC leadership that Rod Dreher’s work is or has been inconsistent with our mission. TAC remains committed to a robust social conservatism, a defense of faith, family, and our country’s Christian heritage, as we have since our founding twenty years ago.
We look forward to continuing to offer our institutional support to Rod’s work, including the launch of his next book—sure to be another best-seller.
Over the last week, I invited a few of our board members and staff to chime in to offer their own brief Rod appreciations. Here is what they wrote:
“Rod's example has given me the courage to speak my mind on many occasions when my instinct was to shut up and play it safe. I am grateful for that. Also, as a Southerner and an Orthodox Christian, it was great having a writer around who made me feel represented, as the left would say.”Helen Andrews, print editor
“Rod has modeled fearless and faithful engagement with the culture for decades. The Old Testament makes clear that prophets are rarely happy people, but Rod has held fast to humanity and joy in the midst of cultural decline and despair with an honesty and intellectual curiosity that is a great gift to many. For me, he has been an example of writing to and for readers we would have be our friends.”Micah Meadowcroft, web editor
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“Rod is one of the most significant influences on my understanding of the currents of modern culture. I cannot praise his contribution to TAC enough. I look forward to the publication of his upcoming book on Christian re-enchantment, and continuing to follow his passionate and personal analysis.”Dom Watkins, chairman of the board
"For twelve years, Rod Dreher has enlightened and enlivened TAC readers with his trenchant, probing, provocative, and sprightly written critiques on the state of American politics and culture, and his impact over that time is reflected in the massive following he generated with his sharply honed judgments and prose. Consistently did he represent his philosophical convictions with clarity, vision, and courage, and I commend him for his past accomplishments even as I look forward to his future ones."Robert W. Merry, board member and former editor
TAC would probably not have survived during our leanest years were it not for the readers and attention that Rod’s cultural commentary brought to our enterprise. We will always be grateful to Rod for his loyalty and intellectual courage.