Publisher description for Conservatism in America : a study in changing permanent things / Paul Edward Gottfried.

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This book argues that the American conservative movement has been largely an invention of journalists and Republican activists. This movement has exaggerated the permanence of its values, and both its militant anti-Communism, instilled in its followers, and its rejection of dissent have sapped its capacity for internal debate. Movement conservatives, who work disproportionately for Beltway publications and policy institutes, do not have a real social base. Their movement came to power at least partly by burying an older anti-welfare state Right, one that in fact had enjoyed a social following that was concentrated in a small-town America. The newcomers played down the merits of those they had replaced; and in the 1980's the neoconservatives, who took over the postwar conservative movement from an earlier generation, belittled their predecessors in a similar way. Among the movement's major accomplishments has been to recreate its own past. The success of this revised history lies in the fact that even the movement's critics are now inclined to accept it.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Conservatism -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Right and left (Political science)
Political parties -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
United States -- Politics and government -- 20th century.
United States -- Politics and government -- 2001-