“The Right” is a term that, as we are currently reminded by the travails of Republicans in the U.S. and Tories in Britain, covers a multitude of sinners. And the longer the period under inspection, the bigger the multitude grows. Consider the United States from 1921 to the present—the period covered by Matthew Continetti’s important new book, The Right, which analyzes how American conservatives saw and reacted to political currents in the United States during those years. It’s a period that divides neatly into two halves: the years 1921–1989 were essentially the years of America’s rise and dominance; those between 1989 and 2022 have been a time of disappointment, crises, and growing internal conflict. A nadir seems to have been reached today when the ruling national party and most of the nation’s cultural institutions all insist that America is a racist, sexist, and white supremacist country from bottom to top—and when the principal conservative response is a confused and indignant stupefaction rather than a credible refutation and a confident prescription for recovery.

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A fellow of the American Enterprise Institute and the founding editor of the Washington Free Beacon, Continetti begins his survey in a thriving 1920s America governed by Republicans faithful to a classical liberal

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