By Kevin Mattson
Do you ever ask yourself why conservative pundits drop the note "faggot" or speak about killing after which Christianizing Muslims in another country? Do you ask yourself why the right's spokespeople appear so confrontational, impolite, and over-the-top lately? Does it appear unusual that conservative books have such apocalyptic titles? Do you wonder at why conservative writers trumpeted the "rebel" features of George W. Bush quite a few years again? there's no doubt that the fashion of the political correct this present day is difficult, brash, and by way of many debts, no longer very conservative sounding. in the end, is not conservatism imagined to be approximately holding criteria, upholding civility, and frowning upon uprising? Historian Kevin Mattson explains the plain contradictions of the celebration during this clean exam of the postwar conservative brain. studying a massive forged of characters that incorporates William F. Buckley, Whittaker Chambers, Norman Podhoretz, Irving Kristol, Kevin Phillips, David Brooks, and others, Mattson exhibits how right-wing intellectuals have continuously, yet in several methods, performed to the populist and rowdy traits in America's political tradition. He boldly compares the conservative highbrow circulate to the novel utopians one of the New Left of the Sixties and he explains how conservatism has ingested critical good points of yankee tradition, together with a mistrust of class and intellectualism and a love of pop culture, sensation, surprise, and celebrity.Both a piece of historical past and political feedback, Rebels All! exhibits how the conservative brain made itself attractive, but in addition issues to its endemic difficulties. Mattson's end outlines how a recast liberalism should still reply to the conservative ascendancy that has marked our politics for the final thirty years.
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Additional info for Rebels All!: A Short History of the Conservative Mind in Postwar America (Ideas in Action)
Qxd 4/22/08 34 8:22 PM Page 34 Rebels All! at Yale voted straight-Republican, so Buckley reserved his venom for his professors, whom he believed taught atheism and Keynesianism. He wanted to fight back against them, so he developed the necessary skills. He joined Yale’s debating team (he was thought to be excellent) and wrote opinion editorials for the Yale Daily News. 26 Buckley’s plan to pillory Yale was then turned into his first book, God and Man at Yale (1951), a foundational text for the postwar conservative mind.
32 The decade would become known for conformity and complacency, but it was also a time known for pugnacious young men whose disaffection became a hot commodity. There was James Dean, the cool and detached young man who lived his life fast both in the movies and reality. There was Mad magazine (started in 1952) and, of course, the Beat writers like Jack Kerouac (whom Buckley and Chambers actually admired) and poet Allen Ginsberg. Buckley cornered a market in the culture of rebellion. He was the young Turk taking it to the bureaucratic man who ran the university.
The whole purpose behind the National Review was to convert the entire community to conservatism. QXD 4/22/08 8:21 PM Page 17 The Party of Ideas? 18 Dumping the backward glance of the Southern Agrarians, the conservative mind also became more unified and selfconscious, willing to attack liberalism as pervasive and monolithic. With the Cold War, conservative intellectuals like William Buckley ditched their prior isolationist tendencies (which had expressed doubts about America’s capacity to do good abroad and thus was a rather gloomy and pessimistic view) for an activist foreign policy.
Rebels All!: A Short History of the Conservative Mind in Postwar America (Ideas in Action) by Kevin Mattson