Reclaiming Conservatism

Reclaiming Conservatism : How a Great American Political Movement Got Lost - And How It Can Find Its Way Back

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A leading figure in the American conservative movement for over 40 years, Mickey Edwards was a prominent Republican congressman, a former national chairman of the American Conservative Union, and a founding trustee of the Heritage Foundation. When he speaks, conservatives listen. Now, in this highly provocative and frank volume, Edwards argues loud and clear that conservatives today have abandoned their principles and have become champions of that which they once most feared. The conservative movement-which once nominated Barry Goldwater for President, and later elected Ronald Reagan-was based on a distinctly American kind of conservatism which drew its inspiration directly from the United States Constitution-in particular, an overriding belief in individual liberty and limited government. But today, Edwards argues, the mantle of conservatism has been taken over by people whose beliefs and policies threaten the entire constitutional system of government. By abetting an imperial presidency, he contends, so-called "conservatives" have gutted the system of checks and balances, abandoned due process, and trampled upon our cherished civil liberties. Today's conservatives endorse unprecedented assertions of government power-from the creation of secret prisons to illegal wiretapping. Once, they fought to protect citizens from government intrusion; today, they seem to recognize few limits on what government can do. The movement that was once the Constitution's-and freedom's-strongest defender is now at risk of becoming its most dangerous enemy. Edwards ends with a blueprint for reclaiming the essence of conservatism in America. Touching upon many current issues, this passionately argued book concludes that many of today's conservatives seem to have it all backwards. They have turned conservatism upside down-and this book calls them on more

Product details

  • Hardback | 240 pages
  • 147.32 x 213.36 x 25.4mm | 385.55g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195335589
  • 9780195335583

Review quote

"A champion of Barry Goldwater and a long-time leader among conservatives, Mickey Edwards minces no words in this stinging indictment of the men and movements that he blames for betraying conservative principles. George W. Bush, Newt Gingrich, Denny Hastert, Pat Robertson, neo-conservatives, neo-racists-all those and more come in for a lambasting. A good many Republicans will hate this book, but Barry Goldwater would likely have had a different view-that it is a courageous effort to help regain the conscience of conservatives."-David Gergen, Professor of Public Service, Director, Center for Public Leadership, Harvard University "Mickey Edwards, one of the founders of the modern conservative movement, has written a book that rings as clear as the Liberty Bell, warning of the threat today's conservatives pose to the Constitution and the rule of law. He and I disagree about many things, including his assessments of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan, but his unflinching assessment of our endangered political order ought to be read by every American citizen. It's a message that is all the more important because of the messenger."-Sean Wilentz, Princeton University "Mickey Edwards is a rarity-a long-time professional politician with a deep sense of history and philosophy, someone who combines a knowledge of politics and policy with an intellectually sophisticated framework. Even more rarely, he is someone who has a strong and consistent political philosophy and does not bend it to fit the times or short-term political circumstances. Edwards brings all these traits, along with an elegant writing style and a passion for the American Constitution, to his book Reclaiming Conservatism. Another rarity-this book is accessible to the layperson but will resonate to constitutional scholars as well. It should be read by every high-school student studying civics-and by every politician, and especially every presidential candidate, who pontificates on the American political system and the US Constitution."-Norman Ornstein, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research "A clarion call for American conservatives to return to their philosophical roots: a strong and independent Congress, limited and decentralized government, personal liberty, and peace through strength. Writing with passion, wisdom and lucidity, former conservative Republican House member Mickey Edwards provides a scathing critique of the Republican Congress's acquiescence in the dangerous and unprecedented concentration of power in the Bush presidency and offers an alternative strategy for governance that is consistent with our constitutional system and conservative principles. Reclaiming Conservatism is a tour de force-it deserves the widest possible readership, among activists and concerned citizens."-Thomas E. Mann, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institutionshow more

About Mickey Edwards

Mickey Edwards is on the faculty at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and is a Vice President of the Aspen Institute. After leaving Congress, he taught at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government for 11 years and was selected by students as the outstanding teacher in the school. He was a weekly columnist for the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and other major more

Table of contents

PART ONE: The Conservative Soul ; PART TWO: And The Walls Came Tumbling Down ; PART THREE: Conservative Values ; PART FOUR: Steps Toward Reclaiming Conservatism ; A Final Word ; Acknowledgements ; A Note on Sources ; Suggested Readingshow more

Rating details

42 ratings
3.88 out of 5 stars
5 26% (11)
4 38% (16)
3 33% (14)
2 2% (1)
1 0% (0)
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