Magazine January 27, 2020, Issue

Defending the Virtues of American Nationalism

(Yuri Gripas/Reuters)
The Case for Nationalism: How It Made Us Powerful, United, and Free, by Rich Lowry (Broadside Books, 288 pp., $26.99)

‘I would rather be governed by the first 2,000 people in the telephone directory than by the Harvard University faculty,” William F. Buckley Jr., the founder of National Review, famously said in 1961. Every conservative is familiar with this quote, but even Buckley may not have realized that he was channeling the spirit of Oliver Cromwell, the 17th-century English Puritan. “I had rather have a plain, russet-coated captain, that knows what he fights for, and loves what he knows, than that which you call a gentleman,” Cromwell said. Cromwell played a major role in the movement that championed popular sovereignty.

This article appears as “Nationalism’s Virtues” in the January 27, 2020, print edition of National Review.

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