Foreword Reviews

Creating Conservatism

Postwar Words that Made an American Movement

Books a movement make. Consider the state of conservatism in the United States following the Second World War. In the words of Lionel Trilling in 1950: “Liberalism is not only the dominant but even the sole intellectual tradition.” Other prominent commentators of the time dismissed conservatism as the province of cranks and fanatics, rabid anticommunists, and subscribers to the belief that religion deserves an important role in the political world.

But in the twenty or so years after 1945, adrift conservatives came together around a handful of books by Friedrich Hayek, Barry Goldwater, Richard Weaver, William F. Buckley, and the ex-communist spy Whittaker Chambers, amongst others. Foremost, the writers offered eloquent debate points for anyone leaning right to defend conservative political positions.

In Creating Conservatism, Michael Lee documents the decisive arguments and battles of the day, including how the books were wielded in the culture wars.

Reviewed by Matt Sutherland

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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