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The Machiavellians: Defenders of Freedom
James Burnham
A classic work of political theory and practise, this book… Read more
World Order
Henry Kissinger
Henry Kissinger offers in World Order a deep meditation on the roots… Read more
Return of the Strong Gods: Nationalism, Populism, and the Future of the West
R.R. Reno
After the staggering slaughter of back-to-back world wars, the West… Read more
The Meaning of Conservatism
Roger Scruton
First published in 1980, this contribution to political thought is… Read more
American Awakening: Identity Politics and Other Afflictions of Our Time
Joshua Mitchell
America has always been committed to the idea that citizens… Read more

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The Failure of American Conservatism and the Road Not Taken (2023)

Claes G. Ryn

A natural outsider to the American political realm, Ryn puts forth a perspective that major conservative voices and think tanks often ignore, and analyzes where American post-World-War II intellectual Conservatism succeeds, why it struggles, and how the movement has evolved from its original roots to the recent rise in nationalism and the “America First” perspective. A long-time critic of the conservative movement’s attitude toward cultural advances, its obsession with party politics, and narrowly conceived policy issues, Ryn’s writing points to the overarching need for more rigorous intellectual discourse regarding traditional conservative values and beliefs. As a result, American Conservatism views a variety of topics—like history, philosophy, morality, culture, religion, and society—through the lens of the modern conservative movement. While the book serves as a paean to conservative ideology and its champions, it also takes a bold approach in criticizing the weaknesses of Straussianism and neoconservatism, a stance that Ryn took long before other leaders of American post-world war II intellectual conservatism ever did.

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