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Crunchy Cons

Rod Dreher, Author
Rod Dreher, Author . Crown Forum $24 (259p) ISBN 978-1-4000-5064-2
Reviewed on: 12/19/2005
Release date: 02/01/2006
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-4000-5065-9
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-17216-6
Ebook - 163 pages - 978-0-307-51841-5
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What do you call people who vote for Bush but shop at Whole Foods? Crunchy cons. And according to Dreher, an editor at the Dallas Morning News , they're forming a thriving counterculture within the contemporary conservative movement. United by a "cultural sensibility, not an ideology," crunchy conservatives, he says, have some habits and beliefs often identified with cultural liberals, like shopping at agriculture co-ops and rejecting suburban sprawl. Yet crunchy cons stand apart from both the Republican "Party of Greed" and the Democratic "Party of Lust," he says, by focusing on living according to conservative values, what the author calls "sacramental" living. Dreher makes no secret of his own faith in Christianity, and his book will resonate most with fellow Christians. His conversations with other crunchy conservatives—e.g., the policy director of Republicans for Environmental Protection, a Manhattan home-schooler, the author's wife—are illuminating, but the book fails to offer any empirical evidence to connect these individuals to a wider "movement." Instead, it works best as an indictment of consumerism and the spiritual havoc it can wreak. While his complaints about consumer culture are similar to those advanced by liberals, Dreher frames his criticism of corporate America in explicitly conservative terms, painting rampant consumerism as antithetical to true conservatism. (Feb.)

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