The Reactionary Mind

Author: Corey Robin
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190692001
Release Date: 2017-10-15
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 Reactionary Mind

Author: Corey Robin
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199793938
Release Date: 2011-09-15
Genre: Political Science

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? Tracing conservatism back to its roots in the reaction against the French Revolution, Robin argues that the right is fundamentally inspired by a 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. 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 has been critical to their success. Written by a keen, highly regarded observer of the contemporary political scene, The Reactionary Mind ranges widely, from Edmund Burke to Antonin Scalia, from John C. Calhoun to Ayn Rand. It advances the notion that all rightwing ideologies, from the eighteenth century through today, are historical improvisations on a theme: the felt experience of having power, seeing it threatened, and trying to win it back.

The Reactionary Mind

Author: Corey Robin
Publisher: OUP USA
ISBN: 9780199793747
Release Date: 2011-09-29
Genre: Political Science

In The Reactionary Mind, political scientist Corey Robin makes a strikingly bold claim about the right's political and intellectual foundations. He contends that from the eighteenth century through today, the right has been united by a defense of inequality and privilege and by a deep hostility to all forms of progressive politics. The book ranges widely, covering figures as various as Edmund Burke and Antonin Scalia, John C. Calhoun and Ayn Rand, Joseph de Maistre and Phyllis Schlafly.

The Reactionary Mind

Author: Corey Robin
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190692001
Release Date: 2017-10-15
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.

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.

The Conservative Mind

Author: Russell Kirk
Publisher: Regnery Publishing
ISBN: 0895261715
Release Date: 2001-09-01
Genre: Social Science

The book that launched the modern American conservative movement, now available in trade paperback.

The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism

Author: Theda Skocpol
Publisher: OUP USA
ISBN: 9780199832637
Release Date: 2012-01-02
Genre: History

Describes the history of the Tea Party movement, from the roots of its development and its conservative backers to its pivotal role in the 2010 midterm elections, and discusses the party's ideologies and future of its political agenda.

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.

The Cause

Author: Eric Alterman
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101577134
Release Date: 2012-04-12
Genre: History

The definitive history of American postwar liberalism, told through the lens of those who brought it to life. Liberalism stands proudly at the center of American politics and culture. Driven by passion for social justice, tempered by respect for the difficulty of change, liberals have struggled to end economic inequality, racial discrimination, and political repression. Liberals have fueled their cause with the promise of American life and visions of national greatness, seeking to transform the White House; the halls of Congress, the courts, the worlds of entertainment, law, media, and the course of public opinion. Bestselling author, journalist, and historian Eric Alterman, together with historian Kevin Mattson, traces the history of liberal ideals through the lives and struggles of fascinating personalities. The Cause tells the remarkable story of politicians, intellectuals, visionaries, activists, and public personalities battling for the heart and soul of the nation. The first full-scale treatment of postwar liberalism, The Cause offers an epic saga driven by stories of grand aspirations, principled ambitions, tragic flaws, and the ironies of history of the people who fought for America to live up to the highest ideals of its history.

Hannah Arendt

Author: Irving Louis Horowitz
Publisher: Transaction Publishers
ISBN: 1412846307
Release Date: 2012-08-14
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Hannah Arendt: Radical Conservative paints a broad picture of the personal traits and professional achievements in the work of an extremely complex iconographic figure in twentieth-century intellectual life. Writing about Hannah Arendt is an exercise in the biographic intersecting with the academic. It is an effort to bring together contexts of work with contents of thought. This volume was written in response to continuing interest in her work and also to the bitter and sometimes emotional attacks of her toughest critics. Horowitz emphasizes her unique contributions to political philosophy. Hannah Arendt has been described in many ways. She has been called a feminist, a dedicated worker for and writer about Jewish causes, a German advocate of its highest aspirations and assumed superiority to just about any other linguistic and national tradition, and a person whose very name is identified with anti-Nazism. Irving Louis Horowitz conveys the passion Hannah Arendt’s scholarship has elicited as well as the diversity of her writings. Hannah Arendt’s career is a lesson in the life of the human mind. Her reflections on our political universe are both interesting and compelling. Those who identify themselves firmly within a single tradition or culture may escape the problem of relativism, but they also suffer the problem of absolutism. This long-standing tension between traditions, cultures, and systems is what Horowitz has taken from Arendt’s writings. Her sense of nuance has made her a compelling figure in twentieth-century ideas and a controversial voice well into the twenty-first century.

The Great Persuasion

Author: Angus Burgin
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674067431
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 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

Neither Right Nor Left

Author: Zeev Sternhell
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691006296
Release Date: 1996
Genre: History

"Few books on European history in recent memory have caused such controversy and commotion, " wrote Robert Wohl in 1991 in a major review of Neither Right nor Left. Listed by Le Monde as one of the forty most important books published in France during the 1980s, this explosive work asserts that fascism was an important part of the mainstream of European history, not just a temporary development in Germany and Italy but a significant aspect of French culture as well. Neither right nor left, fascism united antibourgeois, antiliberal nationalism, and revolutionary syndicalist thought, each of which joined in reflecting the political culture inherited from eighteenth-century France. From the first, Sternhell's argument generated strong feelings among people who wished to forget the Vichy years, and his themes drew enormous public attention in 1994, as Paul Touvier was condemned for crimes against humanity and a new biography probed President Mitterand's Vichy connections. The author's new preface speaks to the debates of 1994 and reinforces the necessity of acknowledging the past, as President Chirac has recently done on France's behalf."Few books on European history in recent memory have caused such controversy and commotion, " wrote Robert Wohl in 1991 in a major review of Neither Right nor Left. Listed by Le Monde as one of the forty most important books published in France during the 1980s, this explosive work asserts that fascism was an important part of the mainstream of European history, not just a temporary development in Germany and Italy but a significant aspect of French culture as well. Neither right nor left, fascism united antibourgeois, antiliberal nationalism, andrevolutionary syndicalist thought, each of which joined in reflecting the political culture inherited from eighteenth-century France. From the first, Sternhell's argument generated strong feelings among people who wished to forget the Vichy years, and his themes drew enormous public attention in 1994, as Paul Touvier was condemned for crimes against humanity and a new biography probed President Mitterand's Vichy connections. The author's new preface speaks to the debates of 1994 and reinforces the necessity of acknowledging the past, as President Chirac has recently done on France's behalf.

Age of Fracture

Author: Daniel T. Rodgers
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674057449
Release Date: 2011
Genre: History

Rodgers presents the first broadly gauged history of the ideas and arguments that profoundly reshaped America in the last quarter of the twentieth century. From the ways in which Ronald Reagan changed the formulas of the Cold War presidency to the era’s intense debates over gender, race, economics, and history, it maps the dynamics through which mid-twentieth-century ideas of structure fell apart between the mid 1970s and the end of the century. Where conventional histories of modern America have focused on specific decades, the book traces the larger transformations in social ideas and visions that reshaped the era from the early 1970s through the end of the century.

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.