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American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia.

American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia. Edited by Bruce Frohnen Bruce P. Frohnen is Associate Professor of Law at Ave Maria School of Law in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Senior Fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal.

He began his legal career as a resident scholar with the Heritage Foundation and as a senior fellow with Liberty Fund.
, Jeremy Beer, and Jeffrey O. Nelson (Wilmington, DE, ISI ISI International Sensitivity Index, see there  Books, 2006., xxv plus 979 pp.).

The American Conservatism has a useful introduction that gives an account of its beginnings with the encyclopedia's initiator Gregory Wolfe and Garland Press as a response to the 1990 Encyclopedia of the American Left and its mutation into an encyclopedia of American conservatism after its transfer to the Intercollegiate Studies Institute The Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Inc., or (ISI), is a non-profit educational organization founded in 1953. Its members, over 50,000 college students and faculty across the United States, take advantage of programs designed to supplement a collegiate education and to  (ISI) as publisher. ISI was begun in 1953 by libertarian journalist Frank Chodorov Frank Chodorov (1887–1966) was a U.S. thinker and member of the Old Right, a group of libertarian ideologists who were minarchist, anti-war, anti-imperialist, and (later) anti-New Dealers.  to counter the growing spread of collectivist col·lec·tiv·ism  
The principles or system of ownership and control of the means of production and distribution by the people collectively, usually under the supervision of a government.
 ideologies among America elites.

The editors of this encyclopedia renounce the proposition that conservatism has been the result of an inevitable development of a coherent ideology or agreement on any set number of policy position. To the contrary, they acknowledge that the history of conservatism has been marked by tensions and outright contradictions. Divisions existed not only between types of anti-communists and anti-statists, but between traditionalist and individualists who affirmed the primacy of religion, politics, or economics. At the same time, they stress that it was not their intent "to establish any orthodox definition of conservatism but rather to offer information and insight on the persons, schools, concepts organizations, events, publications, and other topics of major importance ... since World War II." With short but helpful bibliographies at their end, the encyclopedia's 626 entries, which range from 250 to 2,500 words in length, are, by my sampling, well-written and carefully edited. The entries cover social issues from abortion and affirmative action affirmative action, in the United States, programs to overcome the effects of past societal discrimination by allocating jobs and resources to members of specific groups, such as minorities and women. , to welfare, to thinkers from Lord Acton to Donald Atwell Zoll, politicians from John Adams to John Witherspoon, magazines from American Mercury to the Weekly Standard, books from Berry Goldwater's Conscience of a Conservative to Whittaker Chamber's Witness, historical events from the American Revolution American Revolution, 1775–83, struggle by which the Thirteen Colonies on the Atlantic seaboard of North America won independence from Great Britain and became the United States. It is also called the American War of Independence.  to the Vietnam and Iraq wars, social philosophies from agrarianism a·grar·i·an·ism  
A movement for equitable distribution of land and for agrarian reform.

the doctrine of an equal division of landed property and the advancement of agricultural groups.
 to totalitarianism, concepts from academic freedom to tradition, organizations from the American First Committee to the Young Americans for Freedom Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) is the oldest conservative youth group in the United States of America. It was founded in 1960, and its greatest era in terms of numbers and influence was in the 1960s. , and much else.

The encyclopedia's intellectual aperture, which arguably is not a fair criterion for judging an encyclopedia, could have been enhanced by the inclusion of essays on such matters as the generations of American conservatism, other national traditions of conservatism and their convergence and divergence from American conservatism, American conservatism's dependency on forms of nineteenth-century European conservatism and Catholic social theory, and as well as the contribution of recent European intellectual refugees to American thought. It could have also offered critical essays on the way in which post-World-War-II American conservatism resembled in its premises and spirits prewar and interwar interwar

of or happening in the period between World War I and World War II
 European cultural "renaissances" and proposals of third ways; and a survey of how history, anthropology, political science, sociology shaped and were shaped by American conservatism.

The encyclopedia, however, passed with flying colors a more concrete and practical test. I put it to use writing an invited essay on long-time intellectual and active conservative University of Michigan (body, education) University of Michigan - A large cosmopolitan university in the Midwest USA. Over 50000 students are enrolled at the University of Michigan's three campuses. The students come from 50 states and over 100 foreign countries.  Professor Stephen Tonsor. To begin, I found a concise article on him by historian Gregory Schneider, the recent compiler of an anthology of Tonsor essays. Illustrating Tonsor's first, foundational and enduring interest in nineteenth-century German, English, and Catholic thought, and his role in the formative stages of American conservatism, I found four useful entries by Tonsor himself, though not listed in a contributor index that illustrated his first, foundational, and enduring interest in nineteenth-century German, English, and Catholic thought, and his role in the formative stages of American conservatism. Also, I found pertinent entries on conservative movements and institutions in which he participated such as the "Regnery Press," "the Intercollegiate Review," "Modern Age," "the Earhart Foundation" and "the Philadelphia Society," At the same time entries on such fellow conservative thinkers as 'Russell Kirk," "Richard Weaver," "Eliseo Vivas," "Robert Nisbet" and "Eric Voegelin" and movements as "paleoconservatism," "neoconservativism," and "Staussianism" afforded useful comparisons and perspectives on Tonsor.

This single example, coupled with a wide sampling of the encyclopedia, left me confident in saying that the strong and interlocking interlocking /in·ter·lock·ing/ (-lok´ing) closely joined, as by hooks or dovetails; locking into one another.
interlocking Obstetrics A rare complication of vaginal delivery of twins; the 1st
 entries found in this encyclopedia will make it of great value to all who are interested in American conservatism. Its clarity and richness will suggest fresh and intriguing relations among conservative ideas, thinkers, movements, organizations, and politics. Certainly for all but the stubborn, habituated, and ideologically tenacious of right and left, it will end the ironclad ironclad, mid-19th-century wooden warship protected from gunfire by iron armor. The success of the ironclad when first employed by the French in the Crimean War sparked a naval armor and armaments race between France and Great Britain.  identity of American conservatism with the political right and the Republican party.

Joseph Amato

Marshall, MN
COPYRIGHT 2007 Journal of Social History
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Author:Amato, Joseph
Publication:Journal of Social History
Article Type:Book review
Date:Dec 22, 2007
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