Is Conservatism Dead?
Liberals have jubilantly proclaimed that conservatism is dead, both intellectually and politically—and some on the Right seem half inclined to agree. Conservatives, trying to regroup, now must ask themselves: How did their once-dominant political and intellectual movement end up in such disarray? And where is it headed?
The preeminent historian of modern American conservatism, George H. Nash, tackles these crucial questions in the indispensable book Reappraising the Right. Nash, the author of the seminal work The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945, provides a bracing perspective on conservatism’s present predicament by reexamining the roots and achievements of the contemporary American Right. Drawing on more than thirty years of study and reflection, Reappraising the Right ranges far and wide. It showcases Nash’s brilliant insights on such conservative luminaries as Ronald Reagan, William F. Buckley Jr., Russell Kirk, and Whittaker Chambers, and on less well known but nonetheless profoundly important individuals who laid the foundations for modern conservatism. The book also features Nash’s surprising and provocative perspectives on Franklin Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover, neoconservatism and “crunchy conservatism,” National Review and Commentary, economists and intellectuals, think tanks and colleges, the Great Depression, and much more.
Finally, Nash turns directly to the question of the hour: the future of the conservative movement. With a perspective liberated from the provincialism of the present, he provides an enlightened and enlightening assessment of the prospects for American conservatism. Nash frankly analyzes the causes of the Right’s present discontent and the dangers that lurk ahead, but also reminds readers of hopeful portents that conservatives have overlooked. Ideally suited for the current season of soul-searching on the Right, Reappraising the Right is both a revealing examination of conservatism’s rise and an insightful—and ultimately encouraging—reflection on its chances for renewal.