How conservatism, an impotent and unfashionable political philosophy at the end of WWII, gained a broad following, shifted the centerline of American politics to the right and captured seats of power is the theme of this penetrating inquiry. British journalist and historian Hodgson (America in Our Time) calls himself an ex-conservative turned ""Whig,"" which may help to explain his empathic yet critical view of American conservatism. He tracks the movement from Ayn Rand's novels and Russell Kirk's The Conservative Mind (1953) through Barry Goldwater's 1964 presidential campaign, William Buckley's National Review, the harnessing of evangelical Christianity to conservative politics, Milton Friedman's monetarist economics and the defection of liberal intellectuals such as Nathan Glazer, Irving Kristol and others to neoconservatism. In Hodgson's view, the so-called Reagan revolution yielded mixed results, bringing the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War but also fueling a rapid growth in financial inequality among the electorate. Today's conservative movement, he asserts, is deeply divided between authoritarians and libertarians, and between neoconservatives and ""paleoconservatives"" whose creed is rooted in religious belief and tradition. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/02/1996 Release date: 10/01/1996 Genre: Nonfiction
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