The Reactionary Mind

Author: Corey Robin
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190692001
Release Date: 2017-10-26
Genre: History

Late in life, William F. Buckley made a confession to Corey Robin. Capitalism is "boring," said the founding father of the American right. "Devoting your life to it," as conservatives do, "is horrifying if only because it's so repetitious. It's like sex." With this unlikely conversation began Robin's decade-long foray into the conservative mind. What is conservatism, and what's truly at stake for its proponents? If capitalism bores them, what excites them? In The Reactionary Mind, Robin traces conservatism back to its roots in the reaction against the French Revolution. He argues that the right was inspired, and is still united, by its hostility to emancipating the lower orders. Some conservatives endorse the free market; others oppose it. Some criticize the state; others celebrate it. Underlying these differences is the impulse to defend power and privilege against movements demanding freedom and equality -- while simultaneously making populist appeals to the masses. Despite their opposition to these movements, conservatives favor a dynamic conception of politics and society -- one that involves self-transformation, violence, and war. They are also highly adaptive to new challenges and circumstances. This partiality to violence and capacity for reinvention have been critical to their success. Written by a highly-regarded, keen observer of the contemporary political scene, The Reactionary Mind ranges widely, from Edmund Burke to Antonin Scalia and Donald Trump, and from John C. Calhoun to Ayn Rand. It advances the notion that all right-wing ideologies, from the eighteenth century through today, are improvisations on a theme: the felt experience of having power, seeing it threatened, and trying to win it back. When its first edition appeared in 2011, The Reactionary Mind set off a fierce debate. It has since been acclaimed as "the book that predicted Trump" (New Yorker) and "one of the more influential political works of the last decade" (Washington Monthly). Now updated to include Trump's election and his first one hundred days in office, The Reactionary Mind is more relevant than ever.

The Conservative Mind

Author: Russell Kirk
Publisher: Regnery Publishing
ISBN: 9781596985346
Release Date: 1953-11-30
Genre: Political Science

"It is inconceivable even to imagine, let alone hope for, a dominant conservative movement in America without Kirk's labor." — William F. Buckley, Jr. Russell Kirk's The Conservative Mind is one of the greatest contributions to twentieth-century American conservatism. Brilliant in every respect, from its conception to its choice of significant figures representing the history of intellectual conservatism, The Conservative Mind launched the modern American Conservative Movement when it was first published in 1953 and has become an enduring classic of political thought. The seventh revised edition features the complete text and an introduction by publisher Henry Regnery. A must-read.

Fear

Author: Corey Robin
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0195348109
Release Date: 2004-10-01
Genre: Philosophy

For many commentators, September 11 inaugurated a new era of fear. But as Corey Robin shows in his unsettling tour of the Western imagination--the first intellectual history of its kind--fear has shaped our politics and culture since time immemorial. From the Garden of Eden to the Gulag Archipelago to today's headlines, Robin traces our growing fascination with political danger and disaster. As our faith in positive political principles recedes, he argues, we turn to fear as the justifying language of public life. We may not know the good, but we do know the bad. So we cling to fear, abandoning the quest for justice, equality, and freedom. But as fear becomes our intimate, we understand it less. In a startling reexamination of fear's greatest modern interpreters--Hobbes, Montesquieu, Tocqueville, and Arendt--Robin finds that writers since the eighteenth century have systematically obscured fear's political dimensions, diverting attention from the public and private authorities who sponsor and benefit from it. For fear, Robin insists, is an exemplary instrument of repression--in the public and private sector. Nowhere is this politically repressive fear--and its evasion--more evident than in contemporary America. In his final chapters, Robin accuses our leading scholars and critics of ignoring "Fear, American Style," which, as he shows, is the fruit of our most prized inheritances--the Constitution and the free market. With danger playing an increasing role in our daily lives and justifying a growing number of government policies, Robin's Fear offers a bracing, and necessary, antidote to our contemporary culture of fear.

Conservatives Against Capitalism

Author: Peter Kolozi
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231544610
Release Date: 2017-08-08
Genre: History

Few beliefs seem more fundamental to American conservatism than faith in the free market. Yet throughout American history, many of the major conservative intellectual and political figures have harbored deep misgivings about the unfettered market and its disruption of traditional values, hierarchies, and communities. In Conservatives Against Capitalism, Peter Kolozi traces the history of conservative skepticism about the influence of capitalism on politics, culture, and society. Kolozi discusses conservative critiques of capitalism—from its threat to the Southern way of life to its emasculating effects on American society to the dangers of free trade—analyzing the positions of a wide-ranging set of individuals, including John Calhoun, Theodore Roosevelt, Russell Kirk, Irving Kristol, and Pat Buchanan. He examines the ways in which conservative thought went from outright opposition to capitalism to more muted critiques, ultimately reconciling itself to the workings and ethos of the market. By analyzing the unaddressed historical and present-day tensions between capitalism and conservative values, Kolozi shows that figures regarded as iconoclasts belong to a coherent tradition, and he creates a vital new understanding of the American conservative pantheon.

The Last Colonial Massacre

Author: Greg Grandin
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226306902
Release Date: 2011-07-30
Genre: History

After decades of bloodshed and political terror, many lament the rise of the left in Latin America. Since the triumph of Castro, politicians and historians have accused the left there of rejecting democracy, embracing communist totalitarianism, and prompting both revolutionary violence and a right-wing backlash. Through unprecedented archival research and gripping personal testimonies, Greg Grandin powerfully challenges these views in this classic work. In doing so, he uncovers the hidden history of the Latin American Cold War: of hidebound reactionaries holding on to their power and privilege; of Mayan Marxists blending indigenous notions of justice with universal ideas of equality; and of a United States supporting new styles of state terror throughout the region. With Guatemala as his case study, Grandin argues that the Latin American Cold War was a struggle not between political liberalism and Soviet communism but two visions of democracy—one vibrant and egalitarian, the other tepid and unequal—and that the conflict’s main effect was to eliminate homegrown notions of social democracy. Updated with a new preface by the author and an interview with Naomi Klein, The Last Colonial Massacre is history of the highest order—a work that will dramatically recast our understanding of Latin American politics and the role of the United States in the Cold War and beyond. “This work admirably explains the process in which hopes of democracy were brutally repressed in Guatemala and its people experienced a civil war lasting for half a century.”—International History Review “A richly detailed, humane, and passionately subversive portrait of inspiring reformers tragically redefined by the Cold War as enemies of the state.”—Journal of American History

A Companion to Post 1945 America

Author: Jean-Christophe Agnew
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9781405123198
Release Date: 2008-04-15
Genre: History

A Companion to Post-1945 America is an original collection of 34 essays by key scholars on the history and historiography of Post-1945 America. Covers society and culture, people and movements, politics and foreign policy Surveys and evaluates the best scholarship on every important era and topic Includes book review section on essential readings

Before the Storm

Author: Rick Perlstein
Publisher: Nation Books
ISBN: 9780786744152
Release Date: 2009-03-17
Genre: History

Acclaimed historian Rick Perlstein chronicles the rise of the conservative movement in the liberal 1960s. At the heart of the story is Barry Goldwater, the renegade Republican from Arizona who loathed federal government, despised liberals, and mocked “peaceful coexistence” with the USSR. Perlstein's narrative shines a light on a whole world of conservatives and their antagonists, including William F. Buckley, Nelson Rockefeller, and Bill Moyers. Vividly written, Before the Storm is an essential book about the 1960s.

Rich People Things

Author: Chris Lehmann
Publisher: Haymarket Books
ISBN: 9781608461523
Release Date: 2011
Genre: Political Science

Keeping up with the American elite can be tiring. This is the layman's guide to how the wealthy maintain control.

Nixonland

Author: Rick Perlstein
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1451606265
Release Date: 2010-07-29
Genre: History

An exciting e-format containing 27 video clips taken directly from the CBS news archive of a brilliant, best-selling account of the Nixon era by one of America’s most talented young historians. Between 1965 and 1972 America experienced a second civil war. Out of its ashes, the political world we know today was born. Nixonland begins in the blood and fire of the Watts riots-one week after President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act, and nine months after his historic landslide victory over Barry Goldwater seemed to have heralded a permanent liberal consensus. The next year scores of liberals were thrown out of Congress, America was more divided than ever-and a disgraced politician was on his way to a shocking comeback: Richard Nixon. Six years later, President Nixon, harvesting the bitterness and resentment borne of that blood and fire, was reelected in a landslide even bigger than Johnson's, and the outlines of today's politics of red-and-blue division became already distinct. Cataclysms tell the story of Nixonland: • Angry blacks burning down their neighborhoods, while suburbanites defend home and hearth with shotguns. • The civil war over Vietnam, the assassinations, the riot at the Democratic National Convention. • Richard Nixon acceding to the presidency pledging a new dawn of national unity--and governing more divisively than any before him. • The rise of twin cultures of left- and right-wing vigilantes, Americans literally bombing and cutting each other down in the streets over political differences. •And, finally, Watergate, the fruit of a president who rose by matching his own anxieties and dreads with those of an increasingly frightened electorate--but whose anxieties and dreads produced a criminal conspiracy in the Oval Office.

Why Arendt Matters

Author: Elisabeth Young-Bruehl
Publisher:
ISBN: UOM:39015066771778
Release Date: 2006
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Upon publication of her “field manual,” The Origins of Totalitarianism, in 1951, Hannah Arendt immediately gained recognition as a major political analyst. Over the next twenty-five years, she wrote ten more books and developed a set of ideas that profoundly influenced the way America and Europe addressed the central questions and dilemmas of World War II. In this concise book, Elisabeth Young-Bruehl introduces her mentor’s work to twenty-first-century readers. Arendt’s ideas, as much today as in her own lifetime, illuminate those issues that perplex us, such as totalitarianism, terrorism, globalization, war, and “radical evil.” Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, who was Arendt’s doctoral student in the early 1970s and who wrote the definitive biography of her mentor in 1982, now revisits Arendt’s major works and seminal ideas. Young-Bruehl considers what Arendt’s analysis of the totalitarianism of Nazi Germany and the Stalinist Soviet Union can teach us about our own times, and how her revolutionary understanding of political action is connected to forgiveness and making promises for the future. The author also discusses The Life of the Mind, Arendt’s unfinished meditation on how to think about thinking. Placed in the context of today’s political landscape, Arendt’s ideas take on a new immediacy and importance. They require our attention, Young-Bruehl shows, and continue to bring fresh truths to light.

Stoking the Fire of Democracy

Author: Stephen Noble Smith
Publisher:
ISBN: 0879464143
Release Date: 2009
Genre: Political Science

Stephen Smith is a voice from and for the next generation of fighters for social justice, giving his colleagues an introduction to grassroots organizing based on his own experiences in places as diverse as Harvard University, Botswana and Chicago. For four years, he was the lead organizer of PACT, a grassroots organization for young adults affiliated with the Industrial Areas Foundation. Stoking the Fire of Democracy explains how organizations are built and sustained, how they go into action around issues of common concern, how they exercise power, and how they learn from their successes and failures. For young people who want to know what comes next, this book will help them become what Saul Alinksy called "the fire under the boiler of democracy."

The Great Persuasion

Author: Angus Burgin
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674070493
Release Date: 2012-10-30
Genre: History

Just as economists struggle today to justify the free market after the global economic crisis, an earlier generation revisited their worldview after the Great Depression. In this intellectual history of that project, Burgin traces the evolution of postwar economic thought in order to reconsider the most basic assumptions of a market-centered world.

The Lavender Scare

Author: David K. Johnson
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226401960
Release Date: 2009-02-13
Genre: Social Science

The McCarthy era is generally considered the worst period of political repression in recent American history. But while the famous question, "Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?" resonated in the halls of Congress, security officials were posing another question at least as frequently, if more discreetly: "Information has come to the attention of the Civil Service Commission that you are a homosexual. What comment do you care to make?" Historian David K. Johnson here relates the frightening, untold story of how, during the Cold War, homosexuals were considered as dangerous a threat to national security as Communists. Charges that the Roosevelt and Truman administrations were havens for homosexuals proved a potent political weapon, sparking a "Lavender Scare" more vehement and long-lasting than McCarthy's Red Scare. Relying on newly declassified documents, years of research in the records of the National Archives and the FBI, and interviews with former civil servants, Johnson recreates the vibrant gay subculture that flourished in New Deal-era Washington and takes us inside the security interrogation rooms where thousands of Americans were questioned about their sex lives. The homosexual purges ended promising careers, ruined lives, and pushed many to suicide. But, as Johnson also shows, the purges brought victims together to protest their treatment, helping launch a new civil rights struggle. The Lavender Scare shatters the myth that homosexuality has only recently become a national political issue, changing the way we think about both the McCarthy era and the origins of the gay rights movement. And perhaps just as importantly, this book is a cautionary tale, reminding us of how acts taken by the government in the name of "national security" during the Cold War resulted in the infringement of the civil liberties of thousands of Americans.

Neoconservatism

Author: Justin Vaïsse
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674050517
Release Date: 2010
Genre: Political Science

Presents neo-conservatism in three ages covering the history, and illuminating core developments, including the split of liberalism, and the shifting relationship of party affiliation and foreign policy position.