“Allan Lichtman’s new book breaks important ground. Based on an extraordinary range of archival sources, he reminds us that conservatism is not the recent product of Ronald Reagan or Karl Rove, but is deeply embedded in more than a century of American politics and culture.” Robert Griffith, author of The Politics of Fear: Joseph R. McCarthy and the Senate
White Protestant Nation
The Rise of the American Conservative Movement
978-0-8021-4420-1 • $18.95 • Paperback • May 2009
Spanning nearly one hundred years of American political history, and abounding with outsize charactersfrom Lindbergh to Goldwater to Gingrich to AbramoffWhite Protestant Nation offers a penetrating look at the origins, evolution, and triumph (at times) of modern conservatism.
In the long-awaited new book from the author of The Keys to the White Housewhich The Baltimore Sun called “a must book for political junkies” and which remains influential after more than fifteen years in printAllan J. Lichtman has produced a deft and wide-ranging examination of the rise of conservatism in America from the end of World War I to today.
Lichtman is both a professor of political history at American University and a veteran journalist, and after ten years of prodigious research, he has produced what may be the definitive history of the modern conservative movement in America. He has combed through nearly one hundred manuscript collections he has the confidential memos of Billy Graham, Dick Armey, and many others; the internal strategy papers of the big foundations; the secret correspondence between William F. Buckley Jr. and the Franco regime; and much moreto capture the entire tapestry and trajectory of the conservative movement.
He brings to life a gallery of dynamic right-wing personalities, from luminaries such as Strom Thurmond, Phyllis Schlafly, and Bill Kristol to indispensable inside operators like financiers Frank Gannett and J. Howard Pew. He explodes the conventional wisdom that modern conservative politics began with Goldwater and instead traces the roots of today’s movement to the 1920s. He shows how modern conservatism was born out of postWorld War I fears that secular, pluralistic, and cosmopolitan forces threatened America’s national identity. And he lays bare the tactics that conservatives have used for generations to put their slant on policy and culture; to choke the growth of the liberal state; and to build the most powerful media, fundraising, and intellectual network in the history of representative government.
Perfect for readers of Thomas Frank, Kevin Phillips, and John Dean, and a natural counterpart to The Good Fight, Peter Beinart’s recent book on liberalism, White Protestant Nation is entertaining, provocative, enlightening, and essential reading for anyone who cares about modern American politics and its history.