Confronting the New Conservatism: The Rise of the Right in America

Confronting the New Conservatism: The Rise of the Right in America

Confronting the New Conservatism: The Rise of the Right in America

Confronting the New Conservatism: The Rise of the Right in America

Synopsis

General Series Editors: Gay Wilson Allen and Sculley Bradley

Originally published between 1961 and 1984, and now available in paperback for the first time, the critically acclaimed Collected Writings of Walt Whitman captures every facet of one of America's most important poets.

Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts gathers Whitman's autobiographical notes, his views on contemporary politics, and the writings he made as he educated himself in ancient history, religion and mythology, health (including phrenology), and word-study. Included is material on his Civil War experiences, his love of Abraham Lincoln, his descriptions of various trips to the West and South and of the cities in which he resided, his generally pessimistic view of America's prospects in the Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, and his reminiscences during his final years and his preoccupation with the increasing ailments that came with old age. Many of these notes served as sources for his poetry- first drafts of some of the poems are included as they appear in the notes- and as the basis for his lectures.

Excerpt

Michael J. Thompson

Conservative politics has been on the rise in America throughout the postwar era. Although conservatism has generally been the politics of the minority, the past several decades have seen a new assertion of conservatism in many domains of politics and culture, which has reshaped American political and public life in the process. America's supposed conservative turn has taken many different forms, from the election of Ronald Reagan to the presidency in 1980 to the Contract with America in 1994 to the recent aggression in the Middle East. But in the end, conservatism in America has consistently defined itself against the liberal establishment and has sought a redirection of American political and cultural life.

This book is an attempt to come to terms with various aspects of conservative political, social, economic, and cultural ideas, movements, and predispositions in contemporary American life. the essays collected here are each in their own way an attempt to reveal the deeper mechanisms that have come to define different aspects of conservative movements and politics: neoconservative foreign policy, the problem of populism, “cultural rage,” family values, gay marriage, far right-wing movements, the conservative turn in the courts, and the renewed attack on the welfare state, among other and related topics. As a whole, this book sees both a continuity and a distinction between “old” and “new” conservatism. On the one hand, there is a continuity with certain older forms of racial backlash, with provincialism, and with nationalism. But at the same time, there is something quite new about contemporary American conservatism: that it latches on to liberal notions of private property and the rule of law; that it embraces markets, celebrates the autonomy of the individual, and most importantly sees itself as a “progressive” movement promising renewal . . .

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