American conservatism/Bibliography

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A list of key readings about American conservatism.
Please sort and annotate in a user-friendly manner. For formatting, consider using automated reference wikification.
  • Frohnen, Bruce et al eds. American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia (2006), the most detailed reference

Recent politics

  • Berkowitz, Peter . Varieties of Conservatism In America (2004)
  • Conlan, Tim and John Dinan. "Federalism, the Bush Administration, and the Transformation of American Conservatism." Publius 2007 37(3): 279-303. Issn: 0048-5950
  • Cooper, Barry, Allan Kornberg, William Mishler, eds. The Resurgence of Conservatism in Anglo-American Democracies, Duke University Press, 1988 online edition
  • Critchlow, Donald T. The Conservative Ascendancy: How the GOP Right Made Political History (2007)
  • Critchlow, Donald T. Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism: A Woman's Crusade (2005) excerpt and text search
  • Dunn, Charles W., ed. The Future of Conservatism: Conflict and Consensus in the Post-Reagan Era (2007). 10 essays; 156pp
  • Friedelbaum, Stanley H. The Rehnquist Court: In Pursuit of Judicial Conservatism Greenwood Press, 1994 online edition
  • Frum, David. What's Right: The New Conservative Majority and the Remaking of America. 1996. online edition
  • Gerson, Michael J. Heroic Conservatism: Why Republicans Need to Embrace America's Ideals (And Why They Deserve to Fail If They Don't) (2007) excerpt and text search
  • Micklethwait, John, and Adrian Wooldridge. The Right Nation, (2004) influential survey excerpt and text search
  • Rae, Nicol C. Conservative Reformers: The Republican Freshmen and the Lessons of the 104th Congress (1998) online edition
  • Schoenwald; Jonathan . A Time for Choosing: The Rise of Modern American Conservatism (2002) online edition also online at ACLS e-books
  • Schulman, Bruce J., and Julian E. Zelizer, eds. Rightward Bound: Making America Conservative in the 1970s (2008)
  • Tanner, Michael D. Leviathan on the Right: How Big-Government Conservativism Brought Down the Republican Revolution (2007) excerpt and text search
  • Teles, Steven M. The Rise of the Conservative Legal Movement: The Battle for Control of the Law (2008) excerpt and text search


  • Bloom, Allan. The Closing of the American Mind (1988)
  • Dorrien, Gary. The Neoconservative Mind,
  • Friedman, Murray. The Neoconservative Revolution: Jewish Intellectuals and the Shaping of Public Policy. Cambridge University Press, 2006.
  • Fukuyama, Francis. America at the Crossroads, (2006)
  • Gerson, Mark. The Neoconservative Vision: From the Cold War to Culture Wars (1997)
  • Halper, Stefan & Clarke, Jonathan, America Alone: The Neo-Conservatives and the Global Order (2004) ISBN 0-521-83834-7
  • Kristol, Irving. Neoconservatism: the Autobiography of an Idea,
  • Murray, Douglas. Neoconservatism: Why We Need It,
  • Steinfels, Peter. The Neoconservatives: The Men Who Are Changing America's Politics. (1979)
  • Stelzer, Irwin. Neo-conservatism (2004)
  • Stelzer, Irwin. The NeoCon Reader (2004)

Critical views from the left

  • Bell, David. ed, The Radical Right. (1963).
  • Huntington, Samuel P. "Conservatism as an Ideology." American Political Science Review 52 (June 1957): 454-73.
  • Coser Lewis A., and Irving Howe, eds. The New Conservatives: A Critique from the Left New American Library, 1976.
  • Dean, John W. Conservatives Without Conscience (2006) excerpt and text search
  • Diamond, Sara. Roads to Dominion: Right-Wing Movements and Political Power in the United States. (1995)
  • Frank, Thomas. What's the Matter with Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America (2005) excerpt and text search
  • Lapham, Lewis H. "Tentacles of Rage" in Harper's, September 2004, p. 31-41.
  • Martin, William. 1996. With God on Our Side: The Rise of the Religious Right in America, New York: Broadway Books.
  • Nunberg, Geoffrey. Talking Right: How Conservatives Turned Liberalism into a Tax-Raising, Latte-Drinking, Sushi-Eating, Volvo-Driving, New York Times-Reading, Body-Piercing, Hollywood-Loving, Left-Wing Freak Show, (2006) excerpt ans text search
  • Tanner, Michael D. Leviathan on the Right: How Big-Government Conservativism Brought Down the Republican Revolution, (2007) a libertarian critique from the CATO Institute excerpt and text search

Primary sources

  • Buckley, William F., Jr., God and Man at Yale
  • Buckley, William F., Jr., ed. Up from Liberalism (1958)
  • Buckley, William F., Jr., ed. Did You Ever See a Dream Walking? American Conservative Thought in the 20th Century (1970)
  • Friedman, Milton, Capitalism and Freedom
  • Gerson, Mark ed., The Essential Neo-Conservative Reader (1997))
  • Goldwater, Barry, Conscience of a Conservative
  • Hayek, F. A., Road to Serfdom
  • Hayek, F. A., Counter-revolution of Science
  • Irving Kristol, Neoconservatism: the Autobiography of an Idea,
  • Schneider, Gregory L. ed. Conservatism in America Since 1930: A Reader (2003)
  • Schweizer, Peter, and Wynton C. Hall, eds. Landmark Speeches of the American Conservative Movement (2007) excerpt and text search
  • Stelzer, Irwin, ed. The NeoCon Reader (2005)
  • Wolfe, Gregory. Right Minds: A Sourcebook of American Conservative Thought. (1987)

Intellectual history

  • Buchanon, Pat, A Republic, Not an Empire
  • Crunden, Robert M. The Mind and Art of Albert Jay Nock (1964)
  • Dunn, Charles W. and J. David Woodard; The Conservative Tradition in America Rowman & Littlefield, 1996 online edition
  • Ebenstein, Lanny. Milton Friedman: A Life (2007), full-scale biography, 186pp. excerpt and text search
  • Filler, Louis. Dictionary of American Conservatism Philosophical Library, (1987)
  • Foner, Eric. "Radical Individualism in America: Revolution to Civil War," Literature of Liberty, vol. 1 no. 3, 1978 pp 1-31 online
  • Frohnen, Bruce et al eds. American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia (2006), the most detailed reference
  • Doherty, Brian. Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement (2007)
  • Federici, Michael P. Eric Voegelin: The Restoration of Order (2002)
  • Genovese, Eugene. The Southern Tradition: The Achievement and Limitations of an American Conservatism (1994) excerpt and text search
  • Gottfried, Paul. The Conservative Movement (1993).
  • Guttman, Allan. The Conservative Tradition in America Oxford University Press, 1967.
  • Judis, John B. William F. Buckley, Jr.: Patron Saint of the Conservatives (1988) excerpt and text search
  • Kelly, Daniel. James Burnham and the Struggle for the World: A Life (2002)
  • Kendall, Willmoore, and George W. Carey. "Towards a Definition of 'Conservatism." Journal of Politics 26 (May 1964): 406-22. in JSTOR
  • Kirk, Russell. The Conservative Mind. (7th ed. 2001). highly influential history of ideas online at ACLS e-books
  • Krugman, Paul. "Who Was Milton Friedman?" New York Review of Books Vol 54#2 Feb. 15, 2007 online version
  • Lora, Ronald. Conservative Minds in America (1976).
  • Lowi, Theodore J. The End of the Republican Era (1995) online review, by a liberal
  • Meyer, Frank S. ed. What Is Conservatism? 1964.
  • Murphy, Paul V. The Rebuke of History: The Southern Agrarians and American Conservative Thought (2001) excerpt and text search
  • Nash, George. The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945 (1978, 2006) influential history. excerpt and text search
  • Nisbet, Robert A. Conservatism: Dream and Reality. U. of Minnesota Press, 1986.
  • Ribuffo, Leo P. The Old Christian Right: The Protestant Far Right from the Great Depression to the Cold War. Temple University Press. 1983
  • Rodgers, Marion Elizabeth. Mencken: The American Iconoclast (2005)
  • Rossiter, Clinton. Conservatism in America. 2nd ed. 1982.
  • Scotchie, Joseph. Barbarians in the Saddle: An Intellectual Biography of Richard M. Weaver (1997)
  • Scotchie, Joseph. Street Corner Conservative: Patrick J. Buchanan and His Times (2004)
  • Scotchie, Joseph. The Paleoconservatives: New Voices of the Old Right (1994)
  • Smant, Kevin J. Principles and Heresies: Frank S. Meyer and the Shaping of the American Conservative Movement (2002)
  • Stigler, George Joseph. Memoirs of an Unregulated Economist (1988), autobiography of leader of Chicago School of Economics
  • Thorne; Melvin J. American Conservative Thought since World War II: The Core Ideas Greenwood: 1990
  • Viereck; Peter Conservatism: from John Adams to Churchill 1956, 1978

Political activity: Before 1940

  • Cheek Jr., H. Lee. Calhoun and Popular Rule: The Political Theory of the Disquisition and Discourse (2001). Stresses Calhoun's Republicanism online edition
  • Lora, Ronald, and William Henry Longton. The Conservative Press in Twentieth-Century America (1999) online edition
  • McDonald, Forrest. States' Rights and the Union: Imperium in Imperio, 1776-1876 (2002)
  • Malsberger, John W. From Obstruction to Moderation: The Transformation of Senate Conservatism, 1938-1952 2000.
  • Patterson, James. Congressional Conservatism and the New Deal: The Growth of the Conservative Coalition in Congress, 1933-39 (1967)
  • Risjord. Norman K. The Old Republicans: Southern Conservatism in the Age of Jefferson (1965) online edition
  • Wilensky, Norman N. Conservatives in the Progressive Era: The Taft Republicans of 1912 (1965).

Political activity: 1940-1990s

  • Bader; John B. Taking the Initiative: Leadership Agendas in Congress and the "Contract with America" (1996) online edition
  • Collins, Robert M. Transforming America: Politics and Culture During the Reagan Years, (2007) 320 pages. excerpt and text search
  • Critchlow, Donald T. Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism: A Woman's Crusade (2005) excerpt and text search
  • Dierenfield, Bruce J. Keeper of the Rules: Congressman Howard W. Smith of Virginia (1987), leader of the Conservative coalition in Congress
  • Fergurson, Ernest B. Hard Right: The Rise of Jesse Helms, (1986), on the North Carolina Senator
  • Fite, Gilbert. Richard B. Russell, Jr, Senator from Georgia (2002) leader of the Conservative coalition in Congress
  • Goldberg, Robert Alan. Barry Goldwater (1995) excerpt and text search
  • Hart, Jeffrey. The Making of the American Conservative Mind: The National Review and Its Times (2005)
  • Himmelstein, Jerome and J. A. McRae Jr., "'Social Conservatism, New Republicans and the 1980 Election'", Public Opinion Quarterly, 48 (1984), 595-605.
  • Koopman; Douglas L. Hostile Takeover: The House Republican Party, 1980-1995 Rowman & Littlefield, 1996
  • Lora, Ronald, and William Henry Longton. The Conservative Press in Twentieth-Century America Greenwood Press, 1999 online edition
  • Patterson, James T. Mr. Republican: A Biography of Robert A. Taft (1972)
  • Pemberton, William E. Exit with Honor: The Life and Presidency of Ronald Reagan (1998) online edition
  • Perlstein, Rick. Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus (2004) on 1964 excerpt and text search
  • Perlstein, Rick. Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America (2008)
  • Phillips-Fein, Kim. Invisible Hands: The Making of the Conservative Movement from the New Deal to Reagan (2008)
  • Reinhard, David W.; Republican Right since 1945 (1983) online edition
  • Schulman, Bruce J., and Julian E. Zelizer, eds. Rightward Bound: Making America Conservative in the 1970s (2008)
  • Schuparra, Kurt. Triumph of the Right: The Rise of the California Conservative Movement, 1945-1966 (1998)
  • Shelley II, Mack C. The Permanent Majority: The Conservative Coalition in the United States Congress (1983)
  • Smith, Richard Norton. An Uncommon Man: The Triumph of Herbert Hoover (1994)
  • Tanenhaus, Sam. Whittaker Chambers: A Biography (1997) excerpt and text search
    • Chambers, Whittaker, Witness (1952), a highly influential memoir his Communist years