Guess Who's Coming to Dinner Now? Multicultural Conservatism in America

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner Now? Multicultural Conservatism in America

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner Now? Multicultural Conservatism in America

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner Now? Multicultural Conservatism in America


"Smart and thoughtful... Perceptive" - The Women's Review of Books "One does not associate scholars with perfect timing, news-wise, but Angela D. Dillard's Guess Who's Coming to Dinner Now'could not be more of the moment." - New York Times Book Review

"An excellent overview of this new movement." - The New Republic

"If you, like many, marveled that George W. Bush not only did but could put together a cabinet and staff that was racially diverse as well as fiscally and morally conservative, here's a book you'll want to read." - Ms.magazine In Guess Who's Coming to Dinner Now?

Angela Dillard offers the first comparative analysis of a conservatism which today cuts across the boundaries of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. To be an African-American and a conservative, or a Latino who is also a conservative and a homosexual, is to occupy an awkward and contested political position. Dillard explores the philosophies, politics, and motivation of minority conservatives such as Ward Connerly, Glenn Loury, Linda Chavez, Clarence Thomas, and Bruce Bawer, as well as their tepid reception by both the Left and Right. Welcomed cautiously by the conservative movement, they have also frequently been excoriated by those African Americans, Latinos, women, and homosexuals who view their conservatism as betrayal. Dillard's comprehensive study, among the first to take the history and political implications of multicultural conservatism seriously, is a vital source for understanding contemporary American conservatism in all its forms.


Conservative, n.A statesman who is enamored of ex
isting evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who
wishes to replace them with others.

—Ambrose Bierce, Devil’s Dictionary

The Problem of Definition

A conservative Latino man, a black conservative woman, and a gay Christian conservative… this may sound like a set-up for an off-color joke, but members of such a diverse contingent could easily pass one another on Capitol Hill, gather for a roundtable discussion at a public policy think tank, or be seated together at a dinner gala sponsored by the Republican National Committee. Such occurrences happen frequently among the individuals I have labeled “multicultural conservatives.” I admit that even this tag began as something of a joke during a dinner party given by a close friend. I was regaling the company with stories and anecdotes uncovered while doing preliminary research for this book and was delighted by their confused and often horrified expressions. Seeking to get off another zinger at the expense of my erstwhile companions, I hit upon the idea of describing the existence of African American, Latino, homosexual, and women conservatives as “multicultural”—a term generally reserved by common affirmation for leftists and liberals. This does not mean that women and minority conservatives embrace multiculturalism as an ethic and a philosophy. They do not. The phrase seemed, however, a perfect (if controversial) way to . . .

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