What Is Conservatism? (1964) is a conservative classic—as relevant today as it was a half century ago.
Just what is conservatism? Many people are groping for answers, especially as conservatives seem to retreat into factions—Tea Partiers, traditionalists, libertarians, social conservatives, neoconservatives, and on and on. But this illuminating book shows what unites conservatives even as it explores conservatism’s rich internal debate.
Edited by Frank S. Meyer, who popularized the idea of “fusionism” that became the basis for modern American conservatism, What Is Conservatism? features brilliant essays by twelve leading conservative thinkers and spokesmen, including:
- F. A. Hayek, Nobel Prize–winning economist and author of The Road to Serfdom
- William F. Buckley Jr., founder of National Review and the man perhaps most responsible for the rise of the modern conservative movement
- Russell Kirk, whose seminal book The Conservative Mind gave the conservative movement its name
- M. Stanton Evans, author of the conservative movement’s central credo, the “Sharon Statement” (1960)
In a foreword to this new edition, #1 New York Times bestselling author and National Review contributing editor Jonah Goldberg explains the profound influence of What Is Conservatism? on conservative thought and the book’s relevance today.
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“What Is Conservatism? is one of my favorite books. . . . It is The Federalist Papers of American conservatism.” —Jonah Goldberg, from the foreword to the new edition
“What Is Conservatism? is as timely today as when it appeared five decades ago, because traditionalists—or, in today’s parlance, social conservatives—and libertarians, or economic conservatives, continue to joust for preeminence in the conservative movement, and both are still prone to neglect the insight into American constitutional government championed by the other.” —Peter Berkowitz, Real Clear Politics
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