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Revolt from the Heartland: The Struggle for an Authentic Conservatism
by:Joseph A. Scotchie
"Joseph Scotchie wishes to tell the story of what he terms an "underfunded, mostly unknown movement" known as the "paleoconservative" or "Old Right" which, he argues, has "provided the intellectual firepower behind the troubled populism of the 1990's." And Scotchie is not afraid to ask hard questions." --The Review of Politics "An essential and valuable...
"Joseph Scotchie wishes to tell the story of what he terms an "underfunded, mostly unknown movement" known as the "paleoconservative" or "Old Right" which, he argues, has "provided the intellectual firepower behind the troubled populism of the 1990's." And Scotchie is not afraid to ask hard questions." --The Review of Politics "An essential and valuable contribution to American intellectual history in the last decade of the last century." -- The American Conservative The dominant forces of American conservatism remain wedded, at all costs, to the Republican Party, but another movement, one with its roots in the pre-World War II era, has stepped forth to fill an intellectual vacuum on the right. This Old Right first rose in opposition to the New Deal, fighting both statism at home and the emergence of an American empire abroad. More recently this movement, sometimes called paleoconservatism, has provided the ideological backbone of modern populism and the opposition to globalization, with decisive effects on presidential politics. In Revolt from the Heartland, Joseph Scotchie provides an intellectual history of the Old Right, treating its main figures and defining its conflict with the traditional left-right political mainstream. As Scotchie's account makes clear, the Old Right and its descendents have articulated an arresting and powerful worldview. They include an array of learned and provocative writers, including M.E. Bradford, Russell Kirk, Richard Weaver, and Murray Rothbard, and more recently, Clyde Wilson, Thomas Fleming, Samuel Francis, and Chilton Williamson, Jr. Beginning with the movement's anti-Federalist forerunners, Scotchie traces its developments over two centuries of American history. In the realm of politics and economics, he examines the anti-imperialist stance against the Spanish-American War and the League of Nations, the split among conservatives on Cold War foreign policy, and the hostility to the socialist orientation of the New Deal. Identifying a number of social and cultural attitudes that define the Old Right, Scotchie finds the most important to be the importance of the classics, a recognition of regional cultures, the primacy of family over state, the moral case against immigration. In general, too, a Tenth Amendment approach to such recurring issues as education, abortion, and school prayer characterizes the group. As Scotchie makes clear, the Old Right and its grass-roots supporters have, and continue to be, a powerful force in modern American politics in spite of a lack of institutional support and media recognition. Revolt from the Heartland is an important study of a persisting current in American political life. Joseph Scotchie is the author of Barbarians in the Saddle: An Intellectual Biography of Richard M. Weaver and the editor of The Paleoconservatives: New Voices of the Old Right and The Vision of Richard Weaver, all available from Transaction. He is also the author of a biography on the novelist Thomas Wolfe. "Joe Scotchie's terrific new book solves a Great American Mystery. Why do our conservative intellectuals attack one another more viciously than they do liberals? Why does the splintered movement-Old Right, Neoconservative, New Right, and Beltway Right-behave like old communists who would rather purge each other than carry out the revolution? Why, if a member has some success, as when Pat Buchanan won in New Hampshire in 1996, do the rest attack him until they have assured his defeat? It's an incredible story and you have to read the book to find the answer"-William J. Quirk, Professor of Law, University of South Carolina"As an immigrant, I have always regarded the American conserative movement as the flower of democracy, the real reason for the Free World's victory in the Cold War. But flowers do not grow to the sky and the historic conservative movement is clearly now dead. In this remarkable and erudite account, Joseph Scothie investigates the new shoots that are coming up, traces their roots, and analyzes their future-and America's."-Peter Brimelow, author of Alien Nation: Common Sense About America's Immigration Disaster"With truly masterful precision, Joe Scotchie illuminates the myriad dissident strains of American Conservatism which knocked at the doors of power at the end of the Cold War before meeting a fateful rebuff. He tells the story of those distinctive Right wing intellectuals who said "no" to an imperial foreign policy, mass immigration, and a globalized economy. While this band lost the key internecine battles of the 1990s to Newt Gingrich the neoconvervatives, and the politics of Clinton-bashing, in Scotchie' eloquent account their struggle for a conservatism rooted a sense of measure and respect for the American past retains all its piquancy for the decade to come."-Scott McConnell
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