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The Reactionary Mind : Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin, Hardback Book


What is conservatism today? And what is its lineage? In The Reactionary Mind, political scientist Corey Robin (author of the acclaimed and prize-winning Fear: The History of a Political Idea) makes a strikingly bold claim about the right's political and intellectual foundations.

Robin contends that from the eighteenth century through today, the right has been united by a defense of inequality and privilege and by a deep hostility to all forms of progressive politics.

The book ranges widely, covering figures as various as Edmund Burke and Antonin Scalia, John C.

Calhoun and Ayn Rand, Joseph de Maistre and Phyllis Schlafly.

While mindful of differences within the right, and of change across time, Robin insists upon the unifying themes of the "counterrevolutionaryexperience"-the defense of rule in the face of movements demanding freedom and equality.

The variation on the right that one sees, Robin claims, is as much a product of tactical adjustment as anything else.

The right has always learned from the left. Abhorring stasis, it has opted for a dynamic conceptionof society, involving struggle, violence, and war.

This capacity for reinvention and partiality to violence has been crucial to its continued vitality.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Political science & theory
  • ISBN: 9780199793747


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