America's Way Back

Rediscovering the Roots of Freedom and Tradition

By Donald J. Devine

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“The solution for the modern GOP . . . Intellectual ammunition for the modern conservative movement.” —SENATOR RAND PAUL

How can America recover from economic stagnation, moral exhaustion, and looming bankruptcy? Longtime Reagan adviser Donald J. Devine shows the way.

America's Way Back

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Regular Price: $29.95

Special Price $23.96


“The solution for the modern GOP . . . Intellectual ammunition for the modern conservative movement.” —SENATOR RAND PAUL

How can America recover from economic stagnation, moral exhaustion, and looming bankruptcy? Donald J. Devine—a longtime adviser to Ronald Reagan—shows us the way in this timely and compelling book.

The problem, Devine demonstrates, is that progressivism has corrupted modern political thinking in both parties. Big government has failed so terribly that even the leading progressive expert on welfare-state bureaucracy admits, “The federal government can no longer guarantee the faithful execution of our laws.” And yet political leaders still call for more of the same old —more money poured into more government programs. This persistent progressive faith in the state has obscured the secret of America’s success: the Constitution’s capacity to harmonize the twin ideals of freedom and tradition.

America’s Way Back makes a powerful case for the philosophical synthesis of freedom and tradition that Ronald Reagan said was the essence of modern conservatism. Devine explains how the Constitution’s framers crafted a flexible system well suited to harmonizing freedom and tradition, and how managing the inherent tension between these two ideals has been the source of America’s historic creativity and prosperity. He also reveals where things went wrong, and why.

Devine explodes the common view that marrying traditional and libertarian thought is nothing more than political calculation. Without a deep philosophical commitment to harmonizing freedom and tradition, neither of these ideals can long survive.

In making the case for twenty-first-century “fusionism,” America’s Way Back updates the insights of Frank Meyer, the theorist Reagan specifically credited with “fashioning a vigorous synthesis of traditional and libertarian thought.” Devine shows that, just as the fusionism of Meyer and William F. Buckley Jr. led to the conservative revival in the 1960s, a new harmony between freedom and tradition will revive America today.

Additional Information

Pages 288
Publisher ISI Books
What They're Saying...

“Devine spells out the solution for the modern GOP—a fusion of the best of conservative ideas with those of the liberty movement, all rooted in the Constitution. This book provides plenty of intellectual ammunition for the modern conservative movement.”

Senator Rand Paul


“Both enjoyable and compelling. Informed by the insights of James Madison, Adam Smith, and Alexis de Tocqueville—and William F. Buckley Jr., Frank Meyer, and Ronald Reagan—Devine shows how we can recover what we have lost. America’s Way Back is an intellectual journey to be savored.”

Mark Levin, #1 bestselling author of Liberty and Tyranny, nationally syndicated radio host


“Prepare for enlightenment. . . . The [story] that Mr. Devine narrates aptly, informatively, is engaging as a summons to look around, look back, ask the vital question: Are conservatives doing the very, very best they can?”

Washington Times


“The timing is right for [Devine’s] new book America’s Way Back. It lays out the course for a conservative intellectual renewal, to renew the nation by renewing her best traditions. . . . Reagan had a heckuva lieutenant in Don Devine. It is good to see him now mentoring the next generation of conservative leaders.”

L. Brent Bozell III, syndicated columnist


“Intellectual yet highly readable . . . Devine has plenty of such instructive analysis and anecdotes to bolster his points. . . . You will learn about concepts your university should have introduced to you, only now via Devine’s graceful writing, incisive analysis, instructive anecdotes, and a plan to restore America’s greatness.”

Human Events


“A tour-de-force critique of the failed progressive policies Obama loves . . . Devine captures the challenge America faces. . . . We need to listen to people like Devine who are calling us back to a simpler, less complicated system of governance that allows decisions to be made at the local and state levels. If we don’t listen, if we just doggedly insist that the solution is to re-order, reform and re-imagine our failed programs, then we’ll end up going the way of the Titanic.”

Floyd Brown, Capitol Hill Daily


“An exceptional work, packed with insights from a variety of fields including history, philosophy, public administration, and political science. America’s Way Back deserves a wide reading. . . . Really a great one.”



“There are gems of insight and information in Don’s book. . . . You will gain more insight into the way we are governed today—and why—than [from] a whole shelf of comparable books on history, economics, the Constitution, the rule of law, the role of religion and other American traditions.”

Warning Signs

“I have long believed that the fusionist conservatism of Frank Meyer made for splendid politics (as in Ronald Reagan’s two presidential campaigns) but for poor and incoherent political philosophy. America’s Way Back forces me to reconsider. Devine argues persuasively that the synthesis of traditional Western values with individual human freedom has intellectual and moral integrity as the foundation for ordered liberty.”

Allan C. Carlson, president of Howard Center for Family, Religion, and Society


“A philosophical, historical, and political tour de force. Must reading—an outstanding book that will be around for a long time to come.”

Lee Edwards, author of William F. Buckley Jr.: The Maker of a Movement


“At last someone has produced a worthy successor to Frank Meyer’s classic In Defense of Freedom.”

Edwin J. Feulner, the Heritage Foundation


America’s Way Back follows on the work of my father, Frank Meyer, showing that libertarianism and traditionally oriented conservatism, while sometimes conflicting in specific policy areas, are complementary and vital as bulwarks of the West.”

Eugene B. Meyer, president of the Federalist Society


“Too many conservatives have forgotten that freedom and tradition, limited government and conservative morality, stand or fall together. Devine’s fine new book, a vigorous defense of fusionism, provides a much-needed reality check. If conservatives want to win again—and want to deserve to win again—they need to listen to Devine.”

Edward Feser, associate professor of philosophy at Pasadena City College, author of The Last Superstition


“A trenchant critique of the flaws and failures of statist progressivism—and a powerful case for a revived conservative alternative. Conservatives of all stripes—and progressives too—will benefit from a close reading of this discerning and very timely book.”

George H. Nash, author of The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America since 1945


“A brilliant analysis of the major factors that have contributed to our nation’s decline. A very timely effort on perhaps the most critical issue of our time.”

George W. Carey, professor of government, Georgetown University


“A marvelous book. Read America’s Way Back if you fear ignorance and celebrate righteous, moral, intellectual knowledge.”

Craig Shirley, author of Rendezvous with Destiny: Ronald Reagan and the Campaign That Changed America

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