A couple of reviews that I found interesting this time from the NYTBR:
–> David Frum takes to the pages of the NYTBR to review White Protestant Nation: The Rise of the American Conservative Movement by Allan J. Lichtman:
For Lichtman, conservatism is less a body of ideas than a collection of unattractive impulses. No person or group that excites his ire is too obscure to be included as a vital component of the conservative story. Thus, in his telling, Elizabeth Dilling (who self-published conspiratorial anti-Communist and anti-Semitic books in the 1930s) is as integral to the origins of conservatism as Milton Friedman. Willis Cartoâ€™s Liberty Lobby deserves equal attention with Paul Nitzeâ€™s Committee on the Present Danger. And the racial theorists of the Pioneer Fund take pride of place over the University of Chicago economics department. This kind of unweighted cataloging will surely find an audience among the partisans of the activist left, where everything is connected and any stick will do to beat a dog. Yet to the extent that â€œWhite Protestant Nationâ€ aspires to be a work of history rather than a tract for the times, it has to be adjudged to have fallen well short of success.
The core thesis of their book â€œGrand New Partyâ€ is that the working class in America â€” the non-college-educated half of the electorate â€” continues to ping-pong between the parties and is there for the taking by any group that can seriously and directly address its concerns. The authors note: â€œSince 1968, these voters have provided the â€˜silent majorityâ€™ that elected Nixon, the â€˜Reagan Democratsâ€™ who gave the Gipper his landslides and the â€˜angry white menâ€™ who put the Gingrich G.O.P. over the top in 1994. … Yet after each Republican triumph, this working-class constituency … has become disillusioned with conservative governance and returned to the Democratic column.â€