This provocative memoir is the ultimate insider’s guide to the often widely misunderstood history and nature of political conservatism in American politics, ever since its initial stirrings in the 1950s down to why today’s Generation X has begun to turn against big government and the “political correctness” regime. This is a far-reaching narrative about— and far beyond—New York, Washington, and California politics, with fascinating behind-the-scenes details and unique insights into the subtleties of campaigns and elections, strategy and polling, advertising and political journalism.
Steinberg takes on sacred cows. He indicts crony capitalism; materialism trumping values; religious contradictions and sexual hypocrisy; the failed war on drugs and mass incarcerations; the governing class and in come redistribution; politically correct victimization and racial spoils; and sixty years of immorally waged wars and failed nation building. The book details the rise of the 1960s student conservative movement and Barry Goldwater’s 1960s challenge to the Eastern Republican establishment. He links the current revival of the intolerant 1960s campus New Left to a renaissance of collectivism, socialism, and anti-semitism.
The author explains the nuances and tensions within a conservative movement at war with itself following the Reagan years. He contrasts Donald Trump’s nativist and nationalist appeal to Reagan’s upbeat conservatism. Whether you’re a postwar Baby Boomer, a Millennial, or from Generation X, this timely history clarifies the “conservative puzzle.”
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