If Sarah Palin is the Answer . . .

Conservatism is once again facing an identity crisis. The recent passing of William F. Buckley, Jr., offers a perfect opportunity to look back at the movement, with its antecedents, its birth, its triumphs and now its potential demise.

Issue: Sept-Oct 2009


Patrick Allitt, The Conservatives: Ideas and Personalities Throughout American History (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2009), 336 pp., $35.00.

Michael Kimmage, The Conservative Turn: Lionel Trilling, Whittaker Chambers, and the Lessons of Anti-Communism (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009), 440 pp., $45.00.

Norman Podhoretz, Why are Jews Liberals? (New York: Doubleday, 2009) 352 pp., $27.00.

Sam Tanenhaus, The Death of Conservatism (New York: Random House, 2009), 144 pp., $17.00.


IN OCTOBER 1951, Yale celebrated its two hundred fiftieth anniversary, graced by .the presence of the chancellor of Oxford University (who happened to be Lord Halifax, the "appeasing" foreign secretary of the late 1930s, and very nearly prime minister instead of Churchill in 1940), the chairman of United States Steel and other such dignitaries. But like Banquo's ghost, a shadowy figure cast a pall over the celebrations.

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