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Letters to a Young Conservative (Art of Mentoring) Hardcover – October 1, 2002

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Product Details

  • Series: Art of Mentoring
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; First Edition edition (October 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465017339
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465017331
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #824,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A young foot soldier of the "Reagan Revolution," bestselling author D'Souza (What's So Great About America, etc.) came to prominence during his years at Dartmouth, as one of the founders of the controversial Dartmouth Review. In his latest book, the newest installment in the Art of Mentoring series, D'Souza provides students of the next generation with a basic understanding of modern conservatism and its fundamental precepts. Addressing a fictional student by the name of "Chris," D'Souza outlines the major distinctions between the three main political positions in the U.S.: liberalism, conservatism and libertarianism. He goes on to explain how conservatism debunks an array of issues, such as affirmative action (it strengthens the "widespread suspicion that [blacks] might be intellectually inferior"), feminism ("the feminist error was to embrace the value of the workplace as greater than the value of the home"), postmodernism ("pompous, verbose, and incoherent") and some lesser known sins such as the "self-esteem hoax" (self-esteem doesn't promote better performance). In these chapters, the author is witty, even irreverent at times. He punctures the stereotype of conservatism as the dry and stodgy movement that liberals love to hate. Rather he says, conservatives are "radicals," resisting the morally deficient tide of modern liberalism, fighting for a common code of virtues. D'Souza will no doubt succeed in inspiring young conservatives to go out into the world and fight for what they believe in.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"Perfect for every undergraduate. And for every graduate who has forgotten, or never knew, the amplitude of the arguments for American conservatism." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Dinesh D'Souza has had a 25-year career as a writer, scholar, and public intellectual. A former policy analyst in the Reagan White House, D'Souza also served as John M. Olin Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and the Robert and Karen Rishwain Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He served as the president of The King's College in New York City from 2010 to 2012.

Called one of the "top young public-policy makers in the country" by Investor's Business Daily, D'Souza quickly became known as a major influencer on public policy through his writings. His first book, Illiberal Education (1991), publicized the phenomenon of political correctness in America's colleges and universities and became a New York Times bestseller for 15 weeks. It has been listed as one of the most influential books of the 1990s.

In 1995, D'Souza published The End of Racism, which became one of the most controversial books of the time and another national bestseller. His 1997 book, Ronald Reagan: How an Ordinary Man Became an Extraordinary Leader, was the first book to make the case for Reagan's intellectual and political importance. D'Souza's The Virtue of Prosperity (2000) explored the social and moral implications of wealth.

In 2002, D'Souza published his New York Times bestseller What's So Great About America, which was critically acclaimed for its thoughtful patriotism. His 2003 book, Letters to a Young Conservative, has become a handbook for a new generation of young conservatives inspired by D'Souza's style and ideas. The Enemy at Home, published in 2006, stirred up a furious debate both on the left and the right. It became a national bestseller and was published in paperback in 2008, with a new afterword by the author responding to his critics.

Just as in his early years D'Souza was one of the nation's most articulate spokesmen for a reasoned and thoughtful conservatism, in recent years he has been an equally brilliant and forceful defender of Christianity. What's So Great About Christianity not only intelligently explained the core doctrines of the Christian faith, it also explained how the freedom and prosperity associated with Western Civilization rest upon the foundation of biblical Christianity. Life After Death: The Evidence shows why the atheist critique of immortality is irrational and draws the striking conclusion that it is reasonable to believe in life after death.

In 2010, D'Souza wrote The Roots of Obama's Rage (Regnery), which was described as the most influential political book of the year and proved to be yet another best seller.

In 2012, D'Souza published two books, Godforsaken and Obama's America: Unmaking the American Dream, the latter climbing to #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and inspiring a documentary on the same topic. The film, called "2016: Obama's America," has risen to the second-highest all-time political documentary, passing Michael Moore's Sicko and Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. In addition, 2016 has risen to #4 on the bestselling list of all documentaries.

These endeavors--not to mention a razor-sharp wit and entertaining style--have allowed D'Souza to participate in highly-publicized debates about Christianity with some of the most famous atheists and skeptics of our time.

Born in Mumbai, India, D'Souza came to the U.S. as an exchange student and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College in 1983.

D'Souza has been named one of America's most influential conservative thinkers by the New York Times Magazine. The World Affairs Council lists him as one of the nation's 500 leading authorities on international issues, and Newsweek cited him as one of the country's most prominent Asian-Americans.

D'Souza's articles have appeared in virtually every major magazine and newspaper, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, Vanity Fair, New Republic, and National Review. He has appeared on numerous television programs, including the The Today Show, Nightline, The News Hour on PBS, The O'Reilly Factor, Moneyline, Hannity, Bill Maher, NPR's All Things Considered, CNBC's Kudlow Report, Lou Dobbs Tonight, and Real Time with Bill Maher.

Customer Reviews

If you feel this discomfort and want to know why and how to explain it, read this book.
Martin G. Tobias
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand conservative reasoning, whether they are a liberal, conservative, or (especially) politically undecided.
Amazon Customer
This well written book is easy to read and understand, short crisp chapters, always to the point.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 7, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Mr. D'Souza has written a fine introduction to conservatism as we find it in the contemporary era. As one volume in the interesting series, The Art of Mentoring (from Basic Books), D'Souza addresses his conception of conservative politics to a young college student thru a series of brief, witty, and well-informed epistles. As a man who has had an impact on campus conservatism, first as a contributor to the nearly legendary Dartmouth Review and later thru his own books (ILLIBERAL EDUCATION and THE END OF RACISM among others), D'Souza is well-placed to polemicize conservatism for a college audience. Recommended for young conservatives and libertarians, and for older ones who may have forgotten the fiery, early arguments which brought them to their positions--the Right and correct positions, I hasten to add!
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73 of 86 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I am a 24 African American, and I found this book to be a mind opener. I live at a campus that is very liberal and every day I get shrill after shrill about how awful America is. I swear to GOD I have never gotten a differnt view point about america. I always just thought my counrty was sick and somehow evil but this book brings some light into the complexity of this nation. I am so sick of the attacks on this country by proffesors and liberals. The students are talking about transvestive studies being added to my school, and why I am homophobic if I dont support it...pleeease!! I have had it I think the saying is true a conservative is a liberal who has been robbed and I think I ahve gotten robbed and I am mad, very mad. I am still a democrat but I am voting Republican 2004. I am so sick of this ...
God bless america
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Adam M. King on December 19, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Dinesh D'Souza has written here about the very foundation for conservatism and why he holds to conservative values. This book is a must-buy for liberals and conservatives. I would encourage liberals to pick it up not to be 'enlightened', but rather, at the very least, to understand where conservatives are coming from. Conservatives will enjoy reading D'Souza's candid analysis of affirmative action, feminism, and multiculturalism. Dinesh truly understands the issues, addresses both arguments, and cites many examples throughout of why conservative doctrine is legitimate. All in all, it's a great book for both political and social understanding. Highly recommended.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Lynds on November 6, 2002
Format: Hardcover
A very interesting and thought provoking read. If you are looking for "spin" or BS, you won't find it here. Mr. D'Souza has written a book that is packed with liberal vs. conservative arguments and laid out the conservative viewpoint with clear, thoughtful, and straight-forward writing. Although the book is short, it does its job by clearly discussing a variety of topics in which liberals and conservative tend to disagree on. You may not agree with some of his thoughts, but it is hard to argue with him on the same "playing field" without resorting to some kind of political- read childish- ploy to overcome or end the debate. Although some of the issues covered have more gray areas in them than just the black-white arguments he lays out, it does level the playing field due to the extreme ideas and thoughts many liberals have i.e. on welfare, affirmative action, etc. I agree with 95% of what is writing about, but I do know there is another side and would love for someone to write and educated and well thought out counter to this book. If there is one, please let me know. He also adds in a list of books that have influenced this book and his thoughts (something he did not do in "What So Great..."). Overall a great book that will give any conservative, young or old, the ammunition needed to counter liberal arguments, ploys and policies.
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36 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Bernard Chapin on May 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Occasionally a book comes along that validates the old cliché about being so good that you can't put it down. Dinesh D'Souza's Letters to a Young Conservative is absolutely one such book. In it he writes a series of letters, thirty-one in all, to a fictional young undergraduate conservative named Chris. The premise is that Chris has written D'Souza after seeing him speak at his university. Chris is overwhelmed by the leftist politically correct atmosphere at his college and D'Souza comforts him by giving counsel on every imaginable topic in the realm of ideas. His arguments draw on nearly twenty-five years of street fighting within the conservative movement. This work is part of a series by Basic Books of established older masters offering advice to the young, and includes Christopher Hitchens' outstanding Letters to a Young Contrarian.
D'Souza's book is a moving, exquisite pep-talk for all right-minded thinkers regardless of age. It is not an explosive tirade and instead is a series of quiet, rational arguments designed to illustrate that anything is possible if one is reflective and patient. The work is truly deceiving due to its accessibility and style. D'Souza is not verbose and writes highly comprehensible sentences. The clarity of the text is problematic as you may plow through a few pages before realizing that D'Souza has just written something quite profound. As a warning, you should not begin reading this hardback if you have vocational or personal interests that cannot be immediately neglected because the enlightenment the book issues is highly addictive.
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