Book Forum

Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea

(Paradigm Publishers, 2010)

March 16, 2011 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM EDT

Hayek Auditorium

Featuring the author C. Bradley Thompson, Clemson University; with comments by Tod Lindberg, Hoover Institution; moderated by David Boaz, Cato Institute.

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C. Bradley Thompson, professor of political science and executive director of the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism, has written (with Yaron Brook) a comprehensive and original analysis of neoconservatism. Neoconservatism probes what neoconservatives call their “philosophy of governance” — their plan for governing America. It explicates the deepest philosophic principles of neoconservatism, traces the intellectual relationship between the political philosopher Leo Strauss and contemporary neoconservative political actors, and provides a trenchant critique of neoconservatism from the perspective of America’s founding principles. What makes this book so compelling is that Thompson actually lived for many years in the Straussian/​neoconservative intellectual world. Neoconservatism therefore fits into the “breaking ranks” tradition of scholarly criticism. Thompson charges that neoconservatism is a species of anti‐​Americanism, a claim sure to draw strong opposition — probably from Tod Lindberg, editor of Policy Review and a member of the Hoover Institution’s Task Force on the Virtues of a Free Society.