Magazine September 7, 2009, Issue

Letters

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Defining ‘Conservative’

For the most part I agree with Tod Lindberg’s review of The Conservatives, by Patrick Allitt (“The Deepest Roots,” August 10), and I certainly look forward to reading the book. However, I take exception to this assertion: “A conservative crank who hates America because he thinks egalitarianism’s leveling tendencies have paved over the possibility of great achievement is no less a conservative than a conservative who cherishes American society for doing away with arbitrary hierarchical or class barriers to personal achievement.”

Mr. Lindberg is right that conservatism is largely an attitude of reaction and prudence, as opposed to a mere

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