“There is always a certain meanness in the argument of conservatism,
joined with a certain superiority in its fact.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
What helps set this study apart is its still largely verboten subject. Joseph Scotchie devotes his attention to that part of the American right that Lee Edwards, Jonathan M. Schoenwald, and William Rusher ignore in their discussions of “conservatism” or, at best, bring in to exemplify “extremist” aberrations. This book is not Scotchie’s first investigation into the topic. In 1999, Transaction Publishers brought out The Paleoconservatives: New Voices of the Old Right, which combines commentaries on second-generation Old Right theorists (including several of Chronicles’ editors) with selections from their writings. While Scotchie recognizes that the paleos have been marginalized through what Thomas Fleming and Samuel Francis describe as the “liberal and neoconservative left,” he also notes what these thinkers have brought to the American right. Literary ability, classical education, mordant wit, and a reflective critique of the left are qualities Scotchie identifies with the new Old Right, which emerged in the early 80’s and found its permanent home...