Tales From the Dark Side

“All great peoples are conservative; slow to believe in novelties; patient of much error in actualities; deeply and forever certain of the greatness that is in law, in custom once solemnly established, and now long recognized as just and final.”

—Thomas Carlyle

Both Justin Raimondo’s Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement and Joseph Lowndes’ From the New Deal to the New Right: Race and the Southern Origins of Modern Conservatism tell stories that the mainstream conservative movement, exemplified by National Review and The Weekly Standard, does not want told.  Raimondo’s book focuses on the men and women who opposed both the New Deal and America’s entry into World War II, while Lowndes charts how former Dixiecrats were assiduously courted by an earlier incarnation of National Review and helped Barry Goldwater win the Republican nomination, and Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, the presidency.  Both isolationists and traditional Southern conservatives are deeply embarrassing to the current tenders of the conservative flame; indeed, their less-educated acolytes who swarm about the internet most likely do not even know that serious men of the right ever opposed FDR’s drive to war or Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision of civil rights, believing...

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