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The Case for Polarized Politics: Why America Needs Social Conservatism Hardcover – March 6, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Encounter Books (March 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594035784
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594035784
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #811,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jeffrey Bell played an active role in federal tax budget reform as an aid to Ronald Reagan in the 1970s and 1980s. A graduate of Columbia and a veteran of the U.S. Army in Vietnam, Bell served as a fellow of the Kennedy Institute of Politics at Harvard, visiting professor at the Eagleton Institute at Rutgers, and as the DeWitt Wallace Fellow in Communications at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. He presently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Conservative Union and of the Campaign Finance Institute at George Washington University. Since 2007, he has been a visiting fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington.

In 2010, Bell became director of policy of the American Principles Project, a Washington-based advocacy group. His most recent book, Populism and Elitism: Politics in the Age of Equality, was named “the most important political book” of 1992 by Fred Barnes in The New Republic. Bell and his wife, Rosalie O’Connell, have four children and live in Annandale, Virginia.

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Customer Reviews

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See all 7 customer reviews
This will be a good book for a change of pace read and a good one to pass around to others.
Michelle Zentgraf
I've always been a social conservative and I thought this book did an excellent job outlining the history of the social conservative movement in the U.S!
Shelby
Putting political views aside, the book just seems to be very repetitive, coming back to the same points time and time again.
Adam

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Alan F. Sewell on March 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I hear the word "Social Conservative" I assume that I'll be hearing from somebody who's probably very nice but perhaps too narrowly focused on marginal issues. I was pleasantly surprised to find this book to be lucid, broadly well informed, historically well researched, and a very easy and interesting read. It is a wide-ranging view of the comparative differences in social views between Conservatives and Liberals that takes us from the contemporary political campaigns back through the moral issues of the Civil War, the American Revolution, and the European Enlightenment. Though stamped with the trademark of Conservative ideology, it has a wealth of historical analysis that I think even Liberals will find interesting.

Author Jeffrey Bell tells us right off the bat:

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The central contention of this book is that social conservatism is not only unlikely to collapse, but that it is becoming increasingly unified and coherent. It is already driving much of the national debate, and its issues are playing a steadily greater role in voters' decisions on whether to vote Republican or Democratic.
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Bell believes that Conservatives tend to win elections when they bring Conservative Social issues into their campaigns. I actually disagree with the premise. I think most Americans, at least 70% and maybe even as much as 90%, are guided by a moderate common-sense philosophy that seeks to avoid discussion of social issues in public life. For example, Abraham Lincoln said that he would never consider voting for any candidate on the basis of the candidate's religious affiliation or lack thereof. On the other hand he would also never vote for a scoffer of religion.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gene Wisdom on January 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was very disappointed. While this was an excellent history with some good information it was not the case for social conservatism. It wasn't the case, or an argument, for anything. If you're looking for this as a resource in defending social conservatism from the arguments of RINO's or libs look somewhere else.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jon on June 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover
"Polarized Politics" was easily my favorite conservative book in a long time! Jeffrey Bell gives readers very interesting insight into the policy makers/ advisors who have helped define the social conservative movement in America. This well-researched book does a great job defining why social conservatism is important in America, and how America's founding principles are under attack. I especially enjoyed reading about Lee Atwaters involvement in the social conservative movement, this book is definitely a must-read for all conservatives!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Shelby on June 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Great book! I've always been a social conservative and I thought this book did an excellent job outlining the history of the social conservative movement in the U.S!
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