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Remembering Revilo Oliver:
July 7, 1908–August 20, 1994

350 words

Revilo Pendleton Oliver was born in Texas on this day in 1908. He received his undergraduate degree at Pomona College in California and his doctorate in classics at the University of Illinois under William Abbot Oldfather. He was Professor of Classics at the University of Illinois for many years.

Revilo Oliver was a man of remarkable erudition: he read eleven languages, including Sanskrit, and for more than half a century wrote scholarly articles in four languages for leading academic publications in the United States and Europe. His first book was The Little Clay Cart, an annotated translation of the Sanskrit Mrcchakatika, published by the University of Illinois in 1938.

During World War II, Oliver was Director of Research in a highly secret cryptographic agency of the War Department in Washington, DC, and was cited for outstanding service to his country. After his work for the War Department, Dr. Oliver was awarded a Guggenheim Post-Service Fellowship, and during the years 1953 and 1954 he traveled to Italy on a Fulbright Research Fellowship to study Italian Renaissance manuscripts.

In 1954, alarmed by the ongoing political subversion of the United States, Professor Oliver threw himself into conservative activism. He participated in the creation of National Review magazine; he was one of the founders of the John Birch Society; he made numerous speeches before patriotic groups; he wrote hundreds of articles and reviews. His disillusion with the conservative movement is chronicled in his book America’s Decline: The Education of a Conservative. Eventually, he abandoned conservatism and became an avowed racial nationalist.

Counter-Currents has republished the following essays and reviews by Revilo Oliver:

For more work by and about Revilo Oliver, see the Revilo P. Oliver: The Life and Works of a Great American Writer and Thinker Website.

See also Margot Metroland’s commemorations, “The Professor and the Carnival Barker” and “Revilo Oliver in Winter.”

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  1. curri
    Posted July 8, 2019 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    WLP didn’t like Yockey’s Imperium, but was a very big fan of Brown’s The Might of the West. It’s interesting that RPO celebrated both works.

    • Joseph S. Salemi
      Posted July 8, 2019 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      Revilo Oliver’s view concerning Yockey’s Imperium was that it was written from a European perspective, and therefore was not a perfect fit for an American nationalist movement. But since the book had been recently reprinted and was for sale, he encouraged its use as a tool for teaching and recruitment, simply because there was nothing better available at the time.

      Oliver always tried to be as pragmatic as possible about political activity. It was the tragedy of his life (and of American faux “conservatism”) that he found himself having to deal with traitors and con-artists Robert Welch, William Buckley, and Willis Carto.

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