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New Course Supplement 2016


GOVT 30.10 American Conservatism

In 1950, Lionel Trilling characterized conservatism as a collection of “irritable mental gestures that seek to resemble ideas.”  He was wrong; this course shows why. If American liberalism is primarily concerned with equality, conservatism places greater emphasis on religion, tradition, community, virtue, authority, and (in certain respects) liberty. In addition to these, the course considers the influence of mid-century anti-communism on the contemporary conservative movement. Finally, we examine the recent claim that much of contemporary American conservatism is reactionary. 

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