From Publishers Weekly
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.
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"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
"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 ItFrom the Hardcover edition.