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Crunchy Cons: How Birkenstocked Burkeans, Gun-Loving Organic Gardeners, Evangelical Free-Range Farmers, Hip Homeschooling Mamas, Right-Wing Nature Lovers, and Their Diverse Tribe of Countercultural Conservatives Plan to Save America

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  • Posted June 14, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Crunchy Cons is a provocative and interesting exploration of a t

    Crunchy Cons is a provocative and interesting exploration of a traditionalist form of conservatism, particularly how those that choose to live a conservative life, beyond mere contemporary political talking points, live in counter culture way from a consumerist, and big government and big corporation society.

    This book is now about seven years old, and while I was familiar with it when it was released, I had never read it until now, and it remains interesting to explore it claims, in the light of the aftermath of the 2008 Financial crisis. The lifestyle that Dreher and those he interviewed in this book were trying to live then, matches up as an antidote to the worst excesses that caused that worldwide crisis. His focus to relentlessly place his family as the locus of his life, and those who were interviewed, by means of localist and traditional agriculture, architecture, neighborhoods, and most importantly faith stands in stark contrast of how many Americans, particularly those who vote Republican, live. By this, I mean that Dreher and those he interviews strove to restrain materialist and mechanistic impulses and to consider how their lives effect the physical environment around them.

    Mostly, this book is an attempt to describe how many are trying to live out the lifestyle advocated by traditionalist conservatives like Wendell Berry, Russell Kirk and other Southern Agrarians advocated, in a fleshed out form, in the early 21st century. The audience is probably two distinct types of people: those who already are attempting to live this traditionalist life and those who are caught in the consumerist bubble and perhaps wish there was something else, or at least more consistent and authentic.

    Increasingly, I think, many American Republican voters have embraced a type of classical liberalism that embraces conservatism for social and moral conduct, but is entirely laize faire for all other aspects of life. To them, this book could be confusing as either liberalism (at least leftwing) in disguise, or needlessly stuck in the past. I think many American Republicans would be surprised to learn of the traditionalist branch of life that rejects modern consumerism and mass produced housing, schools and food as a path to the good life. For them, this would be a good book to consider and ponder.

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    Posted December 4, 2008

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