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The Right Nation: Conservative Power in America

Recorded on November 10, 2004

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

How did America's government become so much more conservative in just a generation? Compared to Europe - or to America under Richard Nixon - even the most liberal President would preside over a distinctly more conservative nation in many crucial respects: welfare is gone; the death penalty is deeply rooted; abortion is under siege; regulations are being rolled back; the pillars of New Deal liberalism are turning to sand. Conservative positions have not prevailed everywhere, of course, but this book shows us why they've been so successfully advanced over such a broad front: because the battle has been waged by well-organized, shrewd, and committed troops who to some extent have been lucky in their enemies.

Adrian Wooldridge and John Micklethwait, like modern-day Tocquevilles, have the perspective to see this vast subject in the round, unbeholden to forces on either side. They steer The Economist's coverage of the United States and have unrivaled access to resources and - because of the magazine's renown for iconoclasm and analytical rigor - have had open-door access wherever the book's research has led them. Divided into three parts - history, anatomy, and prophecy - The Right Nation comes neither to bury the American conservative movement nor to praise it blindly but to understand it, in all its dimensions, as the most powerful and effective political movement of our age.