Derbyshire, a columnist and contributing editor for The National Review, confronts the "mendacity of hope" in this irreverent-sometimes-inflammatory screed. Appealing exclusively to American conservatives, Derbyshire impresses upon his audience the necessity of maintaining a pessimistic view of human nature; happy talk, he says, is for children, fools and leftists. Derbyshire, a Brit by birth, identifies himself as a "metrocon," a conservative city dweller, and his views embrace traditional American right wing beliefs (big government is bad; immigration is a threat) with a few notable aberrations (he's not religious) and a few universally off-putting stances (he's against female suffrage and approvingly quotes Hermann Goring on culture). Those who enjoy Derbyshire's work in The National Review will enjoy this harvest of provocations delivered with a witty, light touch, however heavy their implications.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"Where will a more intelligent, hence pessimistic, yet sprightly conservatism come from? You are holding in your hands part of the answer."
—George F. Will, Pulitzer Prize—winning columnist and author of One Man's America
"John Derbyshire contends that a comprehensive pessimism is the natural home for realistic conservatives, a breed that understands human nature better than utopian liberals and 'happy talk conservatives.' His argument is wide-ranging, erudite, and invigorating, but, paradoxically, delivered with cheerful panache."
—Judge Robert H. Bork, author of the New York Times bestsellers The Tempting of America and Slouching Towards Gomorrah
"Just when you thought there was nothing to American conservatism but a bunch of blue-blazered fuddy-duddies who talk about global democracy, here comes John Derbyshire, who reminds us all of the place of pessimism and skepticism in the Western tradition. Not a moment too soon."
—Taki Theodoracopulos, cofounder of The American Conservative and editor and publisher of Taki's Magazine, takimag.com
"A funny and brilliant call to pessimism, Man's last, best hope for a tolerable life. Pessimists are not only the only realists; they have all the best jokes."
—Theodore Dalrymple, author of Not With a Bang But a Whimper and Our Culture, What's Left of It
From the Hardcover edition.
He's not politically correct, and he's somewhat ascerbic, but the cover should have given you a clue. John is a very witty, cerebral writer who pulls no punches for anyone.Published 2 months ago by Bill
I disagree with some reviewers who were disappointed. The book's level is (even) higher than Derbyshire's columns and podcasts, and that is to say something. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Eustaquia
common knowledge...but accurate in my opinion from reading his bookPublished 10 months ago by raymond yust
I wish this book were available in archival quality paper because it's my bible. John Derbyshire seems to have read my mind and put all of my ideas and opinions into words, far... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Fishstick
Having read Derbyshire extensively on Taki Mag, I wanted to see what his first book was like. I was pleased with the book, if not the message. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Tim Mullen
A realistic forecast for American society: We are all going to hell in an handbasket. Prosperity will soon be a thing of the past.Published 14 months ago by James M Stiles
Derbyshire's point is that conservatism and the rest of the planet are definitely doomed if it continues to maintain a naieve optimism in the face of the... Read morePublished 16 months ago by jtrolla
When the harsh winds of revolutionary liberalism wear away the soft religious beliefs of Conservatives, what remains is a hard, steely realism, and it is in this mode that John... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Radial Symmetry