The Rise of Conservatism in America, 1945-2000
First Edition   ©2008

The Rise of Conservatism in America, 1945-2000

A Brief History with Documents

Ronald Story , Bruce Laurie

  • ISBN-10: 0-312-45064-8; ISBN-13: 978-0-312-45064-9; Format: Paper Text, 208 pages

The last half of the twentieth century saw the advent of a new conservative movement in the United States, a coalition that shared a common determination to redefine the American government, culture, and economy. In this volume Ronald Story and Bruce Laurie present a rich variety of primary sources, including speeches, cartoons, party platforms, and editorials, that speak to the remarkable impact of the conservative movement, from its solvent think tanks to its grassroots support. Outspoken intellectuals such as William F. Buckley and George Gilder, charismatic political figures such as George Wallace, Barry Goldwater, and Ronald Reagan, and powerful organizations like the Southern Baptist Convention and the National Rifle Association weigh in on such issues as the death penalty, taxation, gun control, affirmative action, abortion, and foreign policy. The authors’ lucid introduction traces America’s turn to the right from the demise of New Deal liberalism to the election of George W. Bush in 2000, examining the conservatives’ motivations and strategies and the key events that fostered the rise of conservative attitudes. Each document is preceded by a headnote, helping students understand how the author and his or her line of thinking fit into the story of the movement. A timeline, questions for consideration, and a list of suggested readings also aid comprehension of the material.
"Ronald Story and Bruce Laurie have assembled an impressively broad and deep collection of documents. They present controversial material in a straightforward fashion with admirable neutrality, and they do a remarkable job of weaving the stories of the break-up of the liberal coalition and the rise of movement conservatism."

— Bruce Schulman, Boston University