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Upstream: The Ascendance of American Conservatism Hardcover – February 12, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Threshold Editions; 1st Threshold Editions Hardcover Ed edition (February 12, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416522883
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416522881
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,175,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Alfred Regnery's book is marvelously thought out and marvelously executed. He gives us paragraphs describing the territory he intends to explore, and suggesting what paths he will examine. He then, in fourteen chapters, gives us history, learning, and delight. I could not imagine that what he took on in this book could have interested and engrossed this old hand and old friend, but he leaves the reader panting with gratitude for his accomplishment, and smiling for his felicity." -- William F. Buckley, Jr.

"Al Regnery, present at the creation of the modern conservative movement as a young boy, has been at its center as a leading book and magazine publisher. His masterful account blends ideological and political development, while vividly portraying the movement's thinkers and activists." -- Robert D. Novak

"The rise of conservatism in the United States over the past half-century has been one of the most important political developments of the age -- not only for America, but for the world. Much has been written about it, most of it under-researched and inaccurate. Alfred S. Regnery has now performed the invaluable task of writing a first-class and fully documented history of the movement. He describes its political and intellectual origins, its inventors, its leaders, its high and low points, and its achievements. He has a lot to say about the books and journals, the columnists and media commentators who drove it forward, and not least about the wealthy people and the foundations that supplied the financial means. In all, this is a valuable addition to our understanding of modern politics." -- Paul Johnson

"Conservatism's long swim upstream into the mainstream has been wonderfully chronicled by Alfred Regnery, whose family has helped every stroke of the way. This is a book about, among many other things, the books that helped change how Americans think, vote, and live." -- George F. Will

About the Author

Alfred S. Regnery is the former president and publisher of Regnery Publishing, Inc., which produced twenty-two New York Times bestsellers during his tenure. Currently, he is the publisher of The American Spectator.

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Customer Reviews

The book is well organized, well written, and a good read.
Carol Dawson
It was clear to me that they all governed radically different from one another yet all campaigned/ are campaigning as a "true conservative".
Serena Moyle
It is so interesting to find out just about everything I needed to know.
Marilou Baker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By John on April 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
As a Democrat, I was prepared to hate this book, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that I liked this book very much. I discovered that I must be a moderate, if not a conservative, Dem.

Mr. Regnery explains in clear prose what it means to be a modern political conservative, and I found myself agreeing with conservatism, as he describes it here, nearly as often as I disagreed. Every left-leaning person should read this book, if for no other reason than to confirm their own, lefty tendencies.

As an example, after reading Mr. Regnery's thoughts on the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education (pp. 220-222), that almost touched off the second Civil War (or perhaps more to the point, War Between the States, if you prefer); I went to a politically liberal source -- A Peoples' History of the Supreme Court by Peter Irons, Chapter 30, "'War on the Constitution'" -- in search of some common ground. Sure enough, there it was. It was clearly in both sources an assertion of federal power over state's power. One argued the supremacy of Article VI and Amendment 14 of the U.S. Constitution. The other argued Article X.

Besides the underlying social issues, I gained a greater appreciation of the Declaration of Independence principle that the people have a right to overturn an oppressive government. To me that is a classical liberal idea. So, am I a classical liberal or a modern day conservative?

If you consider yourself a classical liberal, you might find yourself at least sometimes in agreement with Mr. Regnery. However, if you are a modern day Democrat, do not turn in your membership card.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Serena Moyle on May 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a must read for ANYONE seeking to get the bit of truth out of the current political haze of distortion and confusion between true conservatism and true liberalism. I have always considered myself a moderate, even socialist leaning in many respects, until I read Churchill's History of a British Speaking people and Marx's Communist Manifesto about a year ago and became fascinated with how the ideologies developed in the 20th century history. Basically, after studying the various ideologies and governments stemming from Marxism (Stalin' Russia, Mao's China, the Soviet Union and many screwed up countries today, along with the Welfare state), I changed my mind on the socialist tendencies. I am 25, so I came of age under Bush's big government conservatism and repression of certain rights (which by the way, is going to lose much of my generation to the left out of reaction and repulsion, not personal ideology). I never considered myself a liberal, but hey, they were opposed to Bush so I felt closer to them than the Texan.

Anyways, I wanted to understand the history of this conservative movement that Bush, Reagan, Nixon, and Goldwater, Romney, McCain, etc all claimed as their own. It was clear to me that they all governed radically different from one another yet all campaigned/ are campaigning as a "true conservative". What this book helped me to distinguish was "neo conservatism"- big government conservative regulation, with Goldwater/Reagan conservatism, limited government classic liberalism style conservatism. I'm happy to have finally found a home with Reagan style conservatism, was thrilled to discover the intellectual roots of the movement in Buckley, Freidman, Russell and others, and how clearly the movement defined its goals against its opponents on the new left.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Marilou Baker on March 31, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The book explains not just about conservatism but the history and how it would probably affect the future. I could not put down the book. It is so interesting to find out just about everything I needed to know. I highly recommend this book to everyone especially students who are brainwashed in the universities and know nothing about common sense.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Best Of All on April 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Though there rightfully is a focus on Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan, author Alfred S. Regnery does an outstanding job in placing the emergence of the conservative revolution in a broader context, while featuring the work of numerous individuals.

No political movement operates within a vacuum. Regnery masterfully weaves through the upheaval of the 1960s - with the crushing defeat of Goldwater in the 1964 presidential election - which actually began to set the foundation for what was called the "Reagan Revolution" in the 1980s, with key elements remaining 20 years later.

This is a fascinating read on what is the living history of a watershed moment in American politics.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Phil Geusz on April 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good book, competently executed. I am generally considered well-informed but didn't realize, for example, just how amazingly left-of-center Richard Nixon in many ways was by today's standards. This book helped me understand how far the conservative movement has in fact come, and offered me hope and a sense of perspective during a very bad time politically (just after the nomination of McCain).
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Bernard Chapin on April 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Length: 9:13 Mins
Hi, Bernard Chapin here. I was pleasantly surprised by this book and I think you will be as well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Clandestine on April 27, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition
This book is not a rant about how conservatism is great and anybody who says they're conservative is great. This book is not a worship manual for Ronald Raegan obsessors. This book is not about bashing people who do not vote republican.

The book is very informative. It is a window into a history not often told. The only agenda Regnery has here is to inform people about what was happening in the political underground back in the day. Reading this book, one learns a lot about both political parties and their complexions. A great read.

The only reason this gets four stars instead of five is because of a slow part in the middle (which my roommates both loved). Other than that, flawless.
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