The world turned right side up: a history of the conservative ascendancy in America

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Houghton Mifflin, 1996 - History - 365 pages
In 1981, as Ronald Reagan swept into the White House and his men prepared to take over the government they had for years viewed with the greatest suspicion, the citizens of the United States woke up to discover that conservatism, once held in contempt, had become the nation's ruling ideology. The World Turned Right Side Up is a brilliant chronicle of the ideas and events that led to this astounding turnabout in American politics and public life. Godfrey Hodgson, a veteran journalist and historian, traces the patriotic, religious, social, and economic strands of conservatism from the dog days of the New Deal through the triumphs of the past fifteen years. He paints vivid portraits of key conservative figures, including Ronald Reagan, Ayn Rand, George Wallace, Pat Robertson, and William F. Buckley, Jr., and addresses a number of critical questions: Was there really a Reagan Revolution? Has American politics become "Europeanized", "southernized", both, or neither? Can "country-club" Republicans hold on to their blue-collar constituents in a downsized economy? Hodgson examines the contradictions in conservative thought, such as the conflicts between religious fundamentalism and libertarianism, between free-market ideologies and the protectionist circles around Pat Buchanan. He identifies the elements of the conservative revolution that are likely to endure and those that will prove ephemeral. Anyone who wants to understand how Newt Gingrich became one of the most powerful politicians in the country will find this book essential reading.

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THE WORLD TURNED RIGHT SIDE UP: A History of the Conservative Ascendancy in America

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And now for something completely different: a book on the recent fortunes of conservatism in America that is not an exercise in ideological hyperbole. As a British journalist covering the US since the ... Read full review


The World Turned Right Side Up
The 1950s

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About the author (1996)

Godfrey Hodgson has written several books on American politics and history, including AMERICA IN OUR TIME and, most recently, THE WORLD TURNED RIGHT SIDE UP: A HISTORY OF AMERICAN CONSERVATISM. He is currently the director of the Reuters Foundation Programme at Oxford University. The author resides in England.

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