Debating the American Conservative Movement chronicles one of the most dramatic stories of modern American political history. The authors describe how a small band of conservatives in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War launched a revolution that shifted American politics to the right, challenged the New Deal order, transformed the Republican party into a voice of conservatism, and set the terms of debate in American politics as the country entered the new millennium. Historians Donald T. Critchlow ...
Debating the American Conservative Movement chronicles one of the most dramatic stories of modern American political history. The authors describe how a small band of conservatives in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War launched a revolution that shifted American politics to the right, challenged the New Deal order, transformed the Republican party into a voice of conservatism, and set the terms of debate in American politics as the country entered the new millennium. Historians Donald T. Critchlow and Nancy MacLean frame two opposing perspectives of how the history of conservatism in modern America can be understood, but readers are encouraged to reach their own conclusions through reading engaging primary documents.
The book splits between Critchlow's sympathetic views of conservatism after World War II and MacLean's rebuttal of conservatism as a positive force in American politics. Each essay is followed by a set of primary documents designed to substantiate preceding arguments. A great guide . . . for history students. . . . The essays are critical to demonstrating how to frame ideological debates without resorting to logical fallacies and name-calling.
Matthew D. Lassiter
Debating the American Conservative Movement presents a lively, passionate argument about the rise of the New Right and its far-reaching consequences for American politics since World War II. Two distinguished historians, Donald Critchlow and Nancy MacLean, concur that the conservative movement came to power because 'ideas have consequences' but disagree on almost everything else that they discuss in this volume. Their competing perspectives on modern conservatism will help students understand the high stakes of historical debates over the legacy of the New Deal, the fate of the civil rights movement, the emergence of the Religious Right, and the meaning of the 'Reagan Revolution.'
Bruce J. Schulman
A stimulating and valuable book. With vigorously argued essays by major scholars and a revealing collection of primary sources, this volume allows students to understand—and invites them to enter—the historical debate on this pivotal subject.
Laura A. Belmonte
An engaging, fair, and invaluable collection—a marvelous addition to any course on modern America.
Donald T. Critchlow is professor of history at St. Louis University and the author of numerous scholarly articles and books, including The Conservative Ascendency: How the GOP Right Made Political History and Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism. Nancy MacLean is professor of history and African-American studies at Northwestern University, and the author of Behind the Mask of Chivalry: The Making of the Second Ku Klux Klan; Freedom is Not Enough: The Opening of the American Workplace and The American Women's Movement: A Brief History with Documents.
Chapter 1: The Conservative Ascendancy
Chapter 2: Conservatives Debate the Cold War: Excerpt from "Conservatism and the National Review: Criticism and Reply," Ronald Hamowy and William F. Buckley, Jr. (November 1961)
Chapter 3: Young Conservatives Organize: The Sharon Statement (September 11, 1960)
Chapter 4: A Conservative Speaks in Favor of Civil Rights: Senator Everett Dirksen, Congressional Record (June 1964)
Chapter 5: A Conservative Opposes the Civil Rights Act of 1964: Senator Barry Goldwater, Congressional Record (June 1964)
Chapter 6: The Cold War and the Arms Race: Excerpt from Memorandum to Donald Rumsfeld, from Paul H. Nitze (December 19, 1974)
Chapter 7: Conservative Values: Ronald Reagan, "Remarks at the Annual Convention of the National Association of the Evangelicals" (March 8, 1983)
Chapter 8: Ronald Reagan, "Creators of the Future" (March 1, 1985)
Chapter 9: Conservatives on Religious Freedom: Mitt Romney, "Religious Liberty" (2008)
Chapter 10: Guardians of Privilege
Chapter 11: Frank Meyer, "What Is Conservatism?" (1966)
Chapter 12: Barry Goldwater, "I sense here a realignment of Southern conservative Democrats" (1953)
Chapter 13: Richard M. Weaver, "Integration Is Communization" (1957)
Chapter 14: "Our Position on States' Rights Is the Same as Your Own" Letter from William F. Buckley, Jr. to W. K. Simmons (September 10, 1958) and letter from W. J. Simmons to J. P. McFadden, (September 5, 1958)
Chapter 15: Young Americans for Freedom, "King Was a Collectivist" (1968)
Chapter 16: William F. Buckley, Jr., "Linda's Crusade" (May 21, 1968)
Chapter 17: Phyllis Schlafly, "What's Wrong with 'Equal Rights' for Women?" (February 1972)
Chapter 18: Southern Partisan Interview with Trent Lott, "Jefferson Davis's Descendents . . . Are Becoming Involved with the Republican Party" (1984)
Chapter 19: Elizabeth Birch, "Out of Sheer Humanity Comes Common Ground" (1995)