Books: The Heart and Head of the Matter

CONFESSIONS OF A CONSERVATIVE by Garry Wills; Doubleday; 231 pages; $10

Garry Wills calls himself a conservative, out of convenience. He would rather call himself a "convenientist," a citizen always willing to convene with his countrymen for the public good.

Wills, 44, is not an uncomplicated man. He is a Jesuit-trained classics scholar, historian, teacher and journalist with one of the most supple intellects now wrapped around the body politic.

The output of his books, articles and criticism is protean. It began 20 years ago when he was still a student at Xavier University in...

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