Monday, August 25, 2008


First, PW's review of Rebels All!:

This slim, scathing study of the right's trajectory argues that conservatives co-opted the utopian radicalism of the left to brilliantly position themselves as political underdogs, while efficiently consolidating power. With a little cheekiness and ample research, Mattson (When America Was Great) contends that today's conservatives, marked by their aggressive, confrontational style, their populism, pizzazz and brashness, are the true inheritors of the '60s' rebel spirit. The author skillfully links the invasion of Iraq with the new conservative utopianism (a new city on the hill in the Middle East) and identifies conservatism's ideological family tree, detecting the echoes of Bill Buckley in Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh. He enriches his familiar analysis of the birth of the neocons by reviewing how conservatives learned to define themselves more sharply, using the radical style of their liberal counterparts, and demonstrates how populism was fused with neoconservatism to sire the politics of uncivil debate. Passionately, unapologetically partisan, the author's incendiary argument only cools when he champions liberalism as the middle of the political spectrum, perhaps proving that he—like the conservatives he so effectively skewers—is best on the offensive.

And a link to a review by a person whose biography of Saul Alinksy deserves reading -- that is, after you've read Rebels All!:

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


This summer and into fall I'm finishing a book about Jimmy Carter's "Crisis of Confidence" Speech. And here is something I offer in the mean time:

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Friday, August 1, 2008


Yes, the west and hiking and fishing, and...

While away, a few things.

An article in Academe magazine about AAUP activism:

The issue of Dissent with the last of my three review pieces about conservative ideas:

The debate with Sean Wilentz, which you can find here:

More later...