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The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945 Paperback – October 31, 2006


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The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945 + The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot + Ideas Have Consequences: Expanded Edition
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 660 pages
  • Publisher: Intercollegiate Studies Institute; 30th anniversary edition (October 31, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933859121
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933859125
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 5.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #201,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

When this book was first published in 1976, Ronald Reagan was a governor and Newt Gingrich a college professor. Today, it is the single best source of information on the intellectuals who built modern American conservatism. A new epilogue tries to bridge the gap of two decades, but this contemporary classic's real value lies in its thoughtful account of what happened in the 30 years following World War II. By combining history and political theory, it tells how a diverse group of thinkers that included William F. Buckley, Jr., Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek, Irving Kristol, Leo Strauss and others laid the philosophical groundwork for Reagan's presidency and Gingrich's speakership. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

    
        George H. Nash graduated summa cum laude from Amherst College and received his doctorate in history from Harvard University. He writes and lectures frequently about American conservatism. He is also the author of a three-volume life of Herbert Hoover.

More About the Author

A historian, lecturer, and authority on the life of Herbert Hoover, George H. Nash has written and published the first three volumes of a definitive, scholarly biography of Hoover and the monograph Herbert Hoover and Stanford University. He has edited the monumental memoir Freedom Betrayed: Herbert Hoover's Secret History of the Second World War and Its Aftermath and its companion volume The Crusade Years, 1933-1955: Herbert Hoover's Lost Memoir of the New Deal Era and Its Aftermath.

Nash is also author of The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945 and Reappraising the Right: The Past and Future of American Conservatism. A graduate of Amherst College and holder of a PhD in history from Harvard University, he received the Richard M. Weaver Prize for Scholarly Letters in 2008.

Customer Reviews

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Highly recommended to those who wonder about these things; this book helped me put pieces of the puzzle together.
DN
This book is very well written with particularly good combinations of relevant quotations from primary sources and the author's descriptions.
R. Albin
This is an excellent book that traces the historical development of the intellectual conservative movement in the United States.
Jen Hlavacek, Ph.D.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Big Dave on July 15, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As someone who has come to conservatism at the end of the twentieth century, this book opened to me my own political prehistory, the thinking underlying conservative ideas. To some extent, it forced me to decide what kind of conservative I am.
The book is not strictly chronological in its discussion. Nash begins with one chapter apiece on each of the three principal strands of American conservatism post World War II: libertarianism, traditionalism, and anti-communism. Each strand is discussed chronologically and in terms of its principal proponents, leading works, publications, organizations, roots and, of course, theory.
Subsequent chapters discuss the efforts of these three groups to cooperate and to consolidate, the efforts to find specifically American roots for conservative ideas, and the growth of the conservative movement in the thirty years or so following 1945. An Epilogue written for the 1996 edition discusses subsequent changes in American conservatism, including neoconservatism and the religious right.
The title correctly identifies the subject matter of the book -- it is a history of an intellectual movement, and only secondarily a political history. Certain watershed events in contemporary conservatism (the McCarthy investigations, the election campaign of Barry Goldwater, and similar) are touched upon, but principally as phenomena to which conservatives react or by which they are shaped.
Highly recommended.
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 6, 1999
Format: Paperback
I consider this book to be a continuation of the conservative history documented in Russell Kirk's "The Conservative Mind." Kirk covered from Edmund Burke to T.S. Eliot (i.e. from the American Revolution and into the New Deal) and Nash has covered from post-World War II to the mid-1970s (i.e. out of the New Deal; into and out of the Fair Deal, New Frontier and Great Society and into Stagflation and National Malaise). Nash has done a superb job of writing a cohesive and seamless history of the events, literature, people, struggles and ideas that contributed to the emergence of late 20th century conservative ascendance. The book is extremely well documented and is a virtual smorgasbord of bibliographic information for further study and examination. The revised synoptic epilogue doesn't do justice to the final culmination of conservative victory and I believe another historian will have to meet the challenge of finishing the story (or at least bringing it up to date). But it is going to be difficult for any author to do the stupendous job that Kirk and Nash have done in covering the conservative movement in America. The book is a must-read for conservatives and anyone else interested in the ascendancy of conservatism in America.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Jen Hlavacek, Ph.D. on October 12, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book that traces the historical development of the intellectual conservative movement in the United States. To understand current events, it is essential to understand the historical context from which today's political environment has sprung. It was interesting to me how the author distanced the "intellectual" movement from the right wing social conservatives of today. All political parties are made up of uncomfortable aliases and the present day Republican party is no exception to this rule. The author makes the necessary distinctions between that which is important to libertarians, traditional conservatives, and neoconservatives. I would especially recommend this book to anyone who is baffled by today's brand of conservative political thought.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By R. Albin TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 9, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very good book, but readers should be aware of what is and isn't prior to picking it up. Apparently an expanded version of the author's PhD dissertation, this book covers the intellectual aspects of the Conservative movement from the immediate post-war period to the early 1970s. It is not a history of conservatism as a political or social movement. The author does not cover the last 30 years, though there is an appendix chapter added in the late 80s or early 90s which is surprisingly dated. Within these limits, this is a fine book. Nash does a very good job of showing the diversity of conservative intellectuals, describing the libertarian, conservative Catholic, traditional elitist, and backward looking romanticism that came to make up important features of the modern conservative movement. He is quite good in describing the broad variety of important conservative writers, the interactions between the different strains of the movement, how they developed institutions like the National Review to support the movement, and provides some information about their broader impact. This book is very well written with particularly good combinations of relevant quotations from primary sources and the author's descriptions. The scholarship is excellent, based both on a careful reading of a large volume of literature and quite a few interviews.

There are some significant limitations. Despite Nash's serious effort to give a broad view of the conservative movement, this is something of a National Review version of the conservative movement. There is no treatment of fundamentalist conservatism or its theological underpinnings. Also symptomatic of the limitations of Nash's approach is the treatment of Ayn Rand.
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