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Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement 1st Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1883959005
ISBN-10: 1883959004
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--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews


"When I was deciding whether or not to run for President as a Republican, I re-read Justin Raimondo's Reclaiming the American Right and it gave me hope—that the anti-interventionist, pro-liberty Old Right, which had once dominated the party, could and would rise again. Here is living history: the story of an intellectual and political tradition that my campaign invokved and reawakened. This prescient book, written in 1993, could not be more relevant today."
— RON PAUL, Ten Term U.S. Congressman (TX) and 2008 Presidential Candidate

“Richly researched, brilliantly written, passionately argued. . . . A veritable Iliad of the American Right.”—Patrick J. Buchanan, political commentator, syndicated columnist, and author
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Justin Raimondo is editorial director of Antiwar.com, a senior fellow at the Randolph Bourne Institute, and author of An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard.

George W. Carey is professor of government at Georgetown University. He is the author or editor of many books, including The Basic Symbols of the American Political Tradition (with Willmoore Kendall) and, from ISI Books, Liberty and Virtue: The Conservative/Libertarian Debate.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 287 pages
  • Publisher: Center for Libertarian Studies; 1st edition (June 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1883959004
  • ISBN-13: 978-1883959005
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,239,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this excellent book, Justin Raimondo breathes new life into the forgotten icons of the Old Right. These figures include -- among others -- Albert Jay Nock (who was in fact regarded as a "leftist" for part of his career), H.L. Mencken, Frank Chodorov (born Fishel Chodorovsky -- did you know that? I didn't), Garet Garrett (author of _The Driver_, which Raimondo argues may have been an important unacknowledged source for Ayn Rand's ATLAS SHRUGGED), John T. Flynn (who among other things wrote a scathing expose of Roosevelt and the "New Deal"), Rose Wilder Lane (author of _The Discovery of Freedom_), and Isabel Paterson (author of _The God of the Machine_ and the former guru of Ayn Rand).
Raimondo also discusses the hijacking of the Right by Bill Buckley and the neoconservatives, doing a much better job than Rand did in her little puff piece, "Conservativism: An Obituary." In fact Raimondo is careful to acknowledge all the genuine conservatives Rand left out of her "obituary"; rather than simply declaring conservatism dead, as Rand did, Raimondo wants to recover it from the people who almost destroyed it in favor of militaristic Statism.
Raimondo also discusses some genuine contemporary conservatives, including the late great Murray Rothbard (Raimondo is also the author of a soon-to-be-published biography of Rothbard), and provides a ringing defense of Pat Buchanan against a number of unfair attacks -- though he also harshly criticizes Buchanan's stand against free international trade. (The back of the book features an endorsement from Buchanan, by the way -- a little tribute to the intellectual integrity of both men.)
His remarks on Rand will also be of interest to bemused watchers of the "Objectivist" movement.
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Format: Paperback
Justin Raimondo's "Reclaiming the American Right" is one of the most fascinating political books I have ever read. I first read this work a couple of years ago, but return to it often because the stories of the various figures of the Old Right are so relevant to the current political situation. This book should be required reading for all who associate the word "conservative" with "troglodyte" or "warmonger". It wasn't always so! The "Old Right" conservatives were very interested in personal liberty and bitterly opposed to war and the Merchants of Death who profit from them. They saw that in trying to police the world, America would lose it's liberty. Garet Garrett, John T. Flynn, Frank Chodorov ... these are names that deserve to be widely known, men whose works should be read as an antidote to the interventionist dogma of our times. Raimondo performed a valuable service in presenting their views to a new generation.
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Great eye for detail. Author traces the rise of "neoconservatism" (surely a contradiction in terms) in the US from it's beginnings amongst 1930s Trotskyites and hard line anti-communist liberals and social democrats in the cold war.

Justin Raimondo shows how these groups were alienated by the developments on the American left during the post-Vietnam era and thus migrated to the right becoming a key part of the Reagan coalition. This faction displaced older line isolationist conservatives. It's not just the defection of former leftists to right as individuals, it was a factional migration.

The trail for the neocon migration of the 1970s was blazed for them by a previous generation of National Review affiliated "New Right" thinkers in the 1950s such as James Burnham.

There is a most interesting profile of Trotsky's main US apostle, Max Schactman. Max had raced to Trotsky's death bed after Stalin had him killed. Max never had the actual elective surgery that converts leftists to a fully fledged neocon, he remained a lifelong socialist. Max saw Washington as the real centre of the true revolution for global social democracy. He even saw the JFK / LBJ's interventions in Cuba and Vietnam as the historically "progressive" force versus Fidel and Ho Chi Minh, essentially reactionary fascist nationalists in marxist drag. The shadow of Max and Leon now influences US policy. Unfortunately.
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Format: Paperback
This book, written and originally published in the early-1990s, has, if anything, become more relevant in the decade-and-a-half since its publication.

Justin Raimondo's RECLAIMING THE AMERICAN RIGHT is an examination of the so-called "Old Right." The Old Right was anti-interventionist, pro-free market, and overall, anti-statist (think "Ron Paul," who's about the only well-known present-day Old Rightist in national politics.) It first arose as a coherent (though unorganized) movement in opposition to FDR's New Deal, and it also opposed American entry into the Second World War. Such writers as Garet Garett, John T. Flynn, Frank Chodorov, H.L. Mencken, Albert Jay Nock, as well as newspaper publisher Col. Robert McCormick are the heroes of this group. In today's terminology, these men would be considered "libertarians" and/or "paleoconservatives."

Raimondo also contrasts the Old Right with the now-notorious "neoconservatives," who first started to penetrate the American Right just before the Second World War, and who found a permanent, influential place in American conservatism during the early stages of the Cold War. The "neocons" were primarily ex-Trotskyites who never left the essentials of their Marxist ideas - particularly their vehemently statist (in some cases virtually totalitarian) leanings, their militarism, their elitism, and their utter worship of raw power. According to Raimondo, during the Cold War the American Right was largely taken over by a clique - amongst whom the neocons were influential - who (whether tacitly or actively) supported Big Government and a highly interventionist foreign policy. However, once the Cold War ended, the Right was presented with an opportunity to return to its roots.
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