The Right Nation: Conservative Power in America

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Penguin, 2004 - Political Science - 450 pages
10 Reviews
With a unique blend of insight, balance, and wit, two of our most renowned America watchers brilliantly anatomize the conservative movement and explain how it has stamped its program so deeply into American life.

The Right Nationis not "for" liberals, and it's not "for" conservatives. It's for any of us who want to understand one of the most important forces shaping American life. How did America's government become so much more conservative in just a generation? Compared to Europe-or to America under Richard Nixon-even President Howard Dean would preside over a distinctly more conservative nation in many crucial respects: welfare is gone; the death penalty is deeply rooted; abortion is under siege; regulations are being rolled back; the pillars of New Deal liberalism are turning to sand. Conservative positions have not prevailed everywhere, of course, but this book shows us why they've been so successfully advanced over such a broad front: because the battle has been waged by well-organized, shrewd, and committed troops who to some extent have been lucky in their enemies.

John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge, like modern-day Tocquevilles, have the perspective to see this vast subject in the round, unbeholden to forces on either side. They steer The Economist's coverage of the United States and have unrivaled access to resources and-because of the magazine's renown for iconoclasm and analytical rigor-have had open-door access wherever the book's research has led them. And it has led them everywhere: To reckon with the American right, you have to get out there where its centers are and understand the power flow among the brain trusts, the mouthpieces, the organizers, and the foot soldiers. The authors write with wit and skewer whole herds of sacred cows, but they also bring empathy to bear on a subject that sees all too little of it. You won't recognize this America from the far-left's or the far-right's caricatures. Divided into three parts-history, anatomy, and prophecy-The Right Nationcomes neither to bury the American conservative movement nor to praise it blindly but to understand it, in all its dimensions, as the most powerful and effective political movement of our age.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - danoomistmatiste - LibraryThing

An interesting study of the power of conservatism in America. The book tries to explain why America has swung to the Right but I think it is more to do with how Republicans have become ascendant over ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kday_working - LibraryThing

A history of the Republican party in the USA in the 1960s onwards. A fairly objective account of the conservative/liberal tugs-of-war which explained my whole childhood to me. Perhaps only for diehard American political enthusiasts, but fascinating. Read full review

Contents

MAPS
5
From Kennebunkport to Crawford
27
The Conservative Rout 19521964
40
TheAgonyofLiberalism 19641988
94
For Texas Business and God
131
The Rive Droite
151
The Brawn
172
The Right and the War Against Terror
198
Behind Enemy Lines
270
America the Different
291
The Roots of American Exceptionalism
314
Americas Exceptional Conservatism
334
The Melancholy Long Withdrawing Roar of Liberalism
354
Living with the Right Nation
374
APPENDIX
399
NOTES
405

The Path to Republican Hegemony?
227
Too Southern Too Greedy
249

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About the author (2004)

Both John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge were educated at Oxford and went on to work for The Economist. John Micklethwait has overseen the magazine's Los Angeles and New York bureaus and is now its U.S. editor. Adrian Wooldridge has served as West Coast correspondent, social-policy correspondent, and management editor, and is currently Washington, D.C., correspondent. Together, they have coauthored three books, The Witch Doctors, A Future Perfect: The Challenge and Hidden Promise of Globalisation, and The Company: A Short History of a Revolutionary Idea.

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