Gottfried’s Disconnect


Paul Gottfried, who ranks among the most serious scholars on the Right, has long rejected most of it as politically worthless and intellectually bankrupt. It is no surprise then that Conservatism in America often lacks the studious deliberation implied by his subtitle, Making Sense of the American Right. On the acknowledgements page, Gottfried writes: “This book was written, among other reasons, to open a dialogue on the ‘conservative movement’ with those who are willing and able to participate.” But he warns: “It is unlikely, as my text makes clear, that those who would join this hypothetical discussion will emanate from either ‘conservative’ organizations in the New York–Washington corridor or the neoconservative media.” In other words: Come, let a few of us morosely reason together.

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