The 2008 Holiday Book Sale continues with Al Regnery's Upstream: The Ascendance of American Conservatism. This is a valuable history of the movement that changed America, told by one of the participants, and based on interviews with dozens who were eyewitnesses to that history. Regnery shows how the intellectual stream of conservatism intersected with political activism to produce the powerful movement that first spectacularly failed (with the defeat of Goldwater in 1964 and the subsequent Nixonian detour) before succeeding with the election of Ronald Reagan and the "Republican Revolution" of 1994. Regnery ends with sober reflections on the Bush era.
Regnery, by the way, is no fan of "compassionate conservatism," "national greatness" and other big-government Republican heresies. In the December/January double issue of the American Spectator (subscribe now!), Regnery takes aim at an icon of the "national greatness" crowd by recommending Thomas DiLorenzo's Hamilton's Curse: How Jefferson's Arch Enemy Betrayed the American Revolution--and What It Means for Americans Today. Regnery's recommendation alone makes this a book worth reading.
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