Many conservatives claim the ability both to fight and think, but the skills often seem mutually exclusive. The activists’ books are tripe, and the thinkers’ activism is impotent—banal bestsellers and feckless white papers, respectively.

Christopher Rufo is the rare figure who speaks with authority and then translates that speech into political victory. He distills a notoriously abstruse field into a five-minute Fox News segment, which catches the attention of the president of the United States, whose chief of staff calls him the next morning to discuss an executive order, which abolishes the aforementioned ideology from the federal government three weeks later.

Two years ago, Rufo trolled leftist commentator Joy Reid into inviting him onto her MSNBC show. He proposed that they debate “critical race theory” (CRT), a once-obscure but influential academic movement that Rufo brought to the attention of the American public. Reid hardly let Rufo get a word in edgewise, but what he did say successfully stigmatized the term, spurring a rare leftist retreat in the culture war.


In his latest book, America’s Cultural Revolution: How the Radical Left Conquered Everything, Rufo, now a senior fellow with the Manhattan Institute and contributing editor of City Journal, spells

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