Debating the American Conservative Movement

1945 to the Present

By (author) Donald T. Critchlow, Nancy MacLean

Publication date:

16 March 2009

Length of book:

244 pages


Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

ISBN-13: 9780742548237

Debating the American Conservative Movement chronicles one of the most dramatic stories of modern American political history. The authors describe how a small band of conservatives in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War launched a revolution that shifted American politics to the right, challenged the New Deal order, transformed the Republican party into a voice of conservatism, and set the terms of debate in American politics as the country entered the new millennium. Historians Donald T. Critchlow and Nancy MacLean frame two opposing perspectives of how the history of conservatism in modern America can be understood, but readers are encouraged to reach their own conclusions through reading engaging primary documents.
Debating the American Conservative Movement presents a lively, passionate argument about the rise of the New Right and its far-reaching consequences for American politics since World War II. Two distinguished historians, Donald Critchlow and Nancy MacLean, concur that the conservative movement came to power because 'ideas have consequences' but disagree on almost everything else that they discuss in this volume. Their competing perspectives on modern conservatism will help students understand the high stakes of historical debates over the legacy of the New Deal, the fate of the civil rights movement, the emergence of the Religious Right, and the meaning of the 'Reagan Revolution.'