U.S. Intellectual History Blog

The Death of Conservatism… and Other Vital Center Illusions (Cross-post)

Over at the on-line magazine Washington Decoded, check out my review of Sam Tanenhaus, The Death of Conservatism. It should be of interest to USIH readers, as I put the book in the context of intellectual history, discussing Richard Hofstadter, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., William Buckley, Jr., Whitakker Chambers, Russell Kirk, Albert Jay Nock, and James Burnham, among others.

A little tease: I introduce the essay with a Hofstadter passage from 1964:

American politics has often been an arena for angry minds. In recent years we have seen angry minds at work mainly among extreme right-wingers, who have now demonstrated in the Goldwater movement how much political leverage can be got out of the animosities and passions of a small minority.