NeoConservatism : An Obituary for an Idea book cover
1st Edition

An Obituary for an Idea

ISBN 9781594518317
Published May 30, 2010 by Routledge
318 Pages

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Book Description

An obituary so soon! Surely the reports of neoconservatism's death are greatly exaggerated. C. Bradley Thompson has written (with Yaron Brook) the most comprehensive and original analysis of neoconservatism yet published and in the process has dealt it a mortal blow. Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea reveals publicly for the first time what the neocons call their philosophy of governance--their plan for governing America. This book explicates the deepest philosophic principles of neoconservatism, traces the intellectual relationship between the political philosopher Leo Strauss and contemporary neoconservative political actors, and provides a trenchant critique of neoconservatism from the perspective of America's founding principles. The theme of this timely book--neoconservatism as a species of anti-Americanism--will shake up the intellectual salons of both the Left and Right. What makes this book so compelling is that Thompson actually lived for many years in the Straussian/neoconservative intellectual world. Neoconservatism therefore fits into the "breaking ranks" tradition of scholarly criticism and breaks the mold when it comes to informed, incisive, nonpartisan critique of neoconservative thought and action.

Table of Contents

Introduction The Neoconservative Persuasion; Part I The End of Ideology; Chapter 1 The Path to Power; Chapter 2 A New Governing Philosophy; Part II The Crisis of Modernity; Chapter 3 The Straussian Moment; Chapter 4 The Road to Nihilism; Part III The Return to Plato; Chapter 5 The Long Trek Back to Plato; Chapter 6 Classical Natural Right; Part IV A New World Order; Chapter 7 The World According to the Neocons; Chapter 8 Benevolent Hegemony; Part V Soft Despotism; Chapter 9 Leo Strauss and the Fascist Temptation; Chapter 10 National-Greatness Conservatism; concl Conclusion;

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C. Bradley Thompson, Yaron Brook


"I just started on the book and am blown away by it. I knew much of it already but the careful, measured and cumulative explanation of its intellectual roots and political consequences makes it a must-read."
—Andrew Sullivan, The Atlantic

"This book is a must-read for all Americans interested in defending the founding fathers’ vision of a free and just society."

“A novel and riveting account. . .that traces a tight arc from Leo Strauss through Irving Kristol to the daily travails of Washington politics.”
—RICHARD EPSTEIN, University of Chicago

"A brilliant and important book that substantially enlarges our understanding of the neoconservative phenomenon.”
—A. JAMES REICHLEY, Brookings Institution

"This book treats the neoconservatives, Strauss, and other relevant matters with a degree of respect and intellectual care we do not find in other like-minded texts. I disagree with just about every one of the conclusions here, but the book clearly makes the best case yet made for them, and gives those of us who disagree a worthy target."
—MICHAEL ZUCKERT, University of Notre Dame

"C. Bradley Thompson and Yaron Brook delve deeply into the origin, arc, and current nature of the neoconservative movement in the United States. Brilliant, deep, and told with authority."
—THOM HARTMANN, Air America Radio Network host