The Corner

More Foer

One of the reasons why conservatives have had to rely on other conservatives to supply them with the history of their movement — including references to figures such as Nock — is because the liberals by and large have ignored us. Left-wing academics have written detailed histories of antiwar protestors in the 1960s and so forth, but on the rare occasions when they’ve turned their attention to the Right, they’ve done nothing but sneer (see Richard Hoftstadter on the “paranoid style of politics” and more recent fusses over “angry white males”). And so they’ve missed one of the great political stories of postwar America: the rise of the conservatives from a few oddballs like Nock to a dominant force today. I’m delighted that Foer wants to understand this history and update it for a new generation. More liberals should do this. But he should appreciate that when he looks into the history of conservatives, he stands on the shoulders of giants — conservative giants.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.

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