Cover Image: American Conservatism

American Conservatism

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Member Reviews

4 "educational, illuminating, balanced" stars !!

Thank you to all the authors, the editor, Netgalley and Library of America. This collection was released March 2020. I am providing an honest review.

I started this very long collection back in October 2023 and only completed this evening. I have spent my life immersed in left wing, feminist, queer and psychodynamic theory and thinking and activism. I will be honest, though, and say that in the past decade I have become disillusioned with many of these organizations that are often led by toxic leaders and boards and are more selfserving than anything else. I have been much more interested in assisting and dealing with injustices on a micro level and just as often simply being and letting be.

I have willfully avoided Conservatism and as I start to move to a more Centrist political centre needed and craved a brief education on. this area of political thinking. I am so very glad I have and I feel more centered in the centre...sorry I could not resist. Here, in the entitled West, we have become a society of whiners where everybody has rights and nobody has responsibilites...anyhow I digress....

This is a collection of essays, chapters, and speeches on American Conservatism from 1900 onwards and covers a huge plethora of themes and topics. The true average of this collection is 3.14 but due to the high regard I have for the curation and my education I cannot award this book less than four stars.

Here are some of the topics covered and I will end by focusing on the four most impactful pieces for me: (44 works in all)

-Conservatism defined
-Subtypes of Conservatism
-differences between traditionalist and libertarian strands
-mysteries and progress with technology
-psychology of America
-American individualism
-being black, female or queer in Conservative circles
-role of religion in Conservatism
-evils of totalitarianism whether communist, fascist or royalist
-libertarianism as an antidote to Western demise
-role of religious plurality
-nature of civil and religious liberty
-the dangers of affirmative action
-atheism vs theism
-how liberal elites have led to many societal here !
-victim mentality and lack of responsibility
-pacifism vs interventionism in substrands of Conservatism
-the falseness of media
-spiritual decay under liberalism
-Southern Conservatism
-power of agricultural living

A brief word on my five favorite essays

5. Zora Neale Hurston ....How It Feels to be Colored Me....1978...reflections on being Black and female and alive and free....4.5 stars

4. William Henry Chamberlin...The Choice Before excellent essay on the inevitable evils of totalitarian regimes whether they be communist, fascist or royalist... 4.5 stars

Bronze. Murray Rothbard...For a New Liberty...1973... a fascinating libertarian analysis of the mutually sycophantic relationship between the state and the intellectual elite in the oppression of the masses....4.5 stars

Silver. Whittaker Chambers...Forward in the Form of a Letter to My Children...1952...a beautiful preface of a father explaining to his children about the evils of both communism and of the most powerful pieces of writing I have ever read...5 stars

Gold. Randolph Bourne...The State....1918....a very long piece on the politics and sociology of war...I have been a lifetime pacifist and this work solidified and put into words what I truly believe...I spent a week reading and re-reading this one....5 stars

A very impactful five months spent on this political education !

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I found American Conservatism: Reclaiming an Intellectual Tradition by Andrew J. Bacevich to be an interesting read. I am giving four stars.

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I have read Bacevich before. Though my views differ somewhat from his I always come away better informed, with lots to think about and reconsider. His latest is no exception. In a the chaos of today’s spin this is a valuable voice worth hearing.

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I loved this book! I have already studied much on the history of political parties, so I did recognize many of the "unfamiliar" faces of Conservatism, but it was still a great book with a great reminder of the values and principles of the traditional Conservative party.

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Political thought and theory is a study often lost in today's climate. Many of the conservative ideals are rooted in the traditions and successes of the past and I think this is a nice way to remind people of what conservatism came from and what legacy these policies and politicians have left. I can't wait to share this with my conservative friends!

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