Synopses & Reviews
"This comprehensive study of conservative politics from the post-WWI era to the present is replete with clear analysis and good nuggets of information. Lichtman (The Keys of the White House) profiles the behind-the-scenes operators who have crafted the marching orders for right-wing Americans in the last half-century financiers like J. Howard Pew, Frank Gannett and the Du Ponts, direct-mail kingpin Richard Viguerie and drawing-room conservatives like William F. Buckley and Bill Kristol. Lichtman observes how a clique of probusiness, mainly Protestant, Americans chaffed at the birth of the welfare state under Democratic administrations and built a network of organizations to resist social engineering and encroaching federal power. The book argues that in postwar America, rising fears over immigration, desegregation and sexual egalitarianism gave bloom to an ethic of Anglo-Saxon supremacy but Lichtman ignores the deep roots such ideas have in American culture. Lichtman also neglects the transformation in the post civil rights era, when the conservative movement tried to shed its extreme racial and cultural doctrines and began attracting minority voters and politicos. As a structural blueprint of conservative political power, however, this book is without peer, giving readers a wonderful historical survey of the last 80 years of conservative politics. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Spanning nearly one hundred years of American political history, and abounding with outsize characters--from Lindbergh to Goldwater to Gingrich to Abramoff-- White Protestant Nation offers a penetrating look at the origins, evolution, and triumph (at times) of modern conservatism. Lichtman is both a professor of political history at American University and a veteran journalist, and after ten years of prodigious research, he has produced what may be the definitive history of the modern conservative movement in America. He brings to life a gallery of dynamic right-wing personalities, from luminaries such as Strom Thurmond, Phyllis Schlafly, and Bill Kristol to indispensable inside operators like financiers Frank Gannett and J. Howard Pew. He explodes the conventional wisdom that modern conservative politics began with Goldwater and instead traces the roots of todays movement to the 1920s. And he lays bare the tactics that conservatives have used for generations to put their slant on policy and culture; to choke the growth of the liberal state; and to build the most powerful media, fundraising, and intellectual network in the history of representative government. White Protestant Nation is entertaining, provocative, enlightening, and essential reading for anyone who cares about modern American politics and its history.
Spanning nearly 100 years of American political history, and abounding with outsized characters--from Lindbergh to Goldwater to Gingrich to Abramoff--this work offers a penetrating look at the origins, evolution, and triumph (at times) of modern conservatism.