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The Rise and Fall of Modern American Conservatism

A Short History

The Rise and Fall of Modern American Conservatism tells the gripping story of perhaps the most significant political force of our time through the lives and careers of six leading figures at the heart of the movement. David Farber traces the history of modern conservatism from its revolt against New Deal liberalism, to its breathtaking resurgence under Ronald Reagan, to its spectacular defeat with the election of Barack Obama. Farber paints vivid portraits of Robert Taft, William F. Buckley Jr., Barry Goldwater, Phyllis Schlafly, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush. He shows how these outspoken, charismatic, and frequently controversial conservative leaders were united by a shared insistence on the primacy of social order, national security, and economic liberty. Farber demonstrates how they built a versatile movement capable of gaining and holding power, from Taft's opposition to the New Deal to Buckley's founding of the National Review as the intellectual standard-bearer of modern conservatism; from Goldwater's crusade against leftist politics and his failed 1964 bid for the presidency to Schlafly's rejection of feminism in favor of traditional gender roles and family values; and from Reagan's city upon a hill to conservatism's downfall with Bush's ambitious presidency. The Rise and Fall of Modern American Conservatism provides rare insight into how conservatives captured the American political imagination by claiming moral superiority, downplaying economic inequality, relishing bellicosity, and embracing nationalism. This concise and accessible history reveals how these conservative leaders discovered a winning formula that enabled them to forge a powerful and formidable political majority. Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.

Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-0-691-12915-0 (
hardcover: alk. paper) 1. Conservatism—United States—History. I. Title. JC573.2.
U6F34 2010 320.520973—dc22 2009050142 British Library Cataloging-in-
Publication ...

Chicago '68

Entertaining and scrupulously researched, Chicago '68 reconstructs the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago—an epochal moment in American cultural and political history. By drawing on a wide range of sources, Farber tells and retells the story of the protests in three different voices, from the perspectives of the major protagonists—the Yippies, the National Mobilization to End the War, and Mayor Richard J. Daley and his police. He brilliantly recreates all the excitement and drama, the violently charged action and language of this period of crisis, giving life to the whole set of cultural experiences we call "the sixties." "Chicago '68 was a watershed summer. Chicago '68 is a watershed book. Farber succeeds in presenting a sensitive, fairminded composite portrait that is at once a model of fine narrative history and an example of how one can walk the intellectual tightrope between 'reporting one's findings' and offering judgements about them."—Peter I. Rose, Contemporary Sociology

By drawing on a wide range of sources, Farber tells and retells the story of the protests in three different voices, from the perspectives of the major protagonists—the Yippies, the National Mobilization to End the War, and Mayor Richard ...