The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945 is a fascinating review of the historical development of the intellectual conservative movement in the United States. George Nash, an honors graduate from Amherst College and a recipient of his doctoral degree in history from Harvard University, takes a 30-year period of history (from just after World War II through 1976) and weaves a story, combining history and political theory, detailing how the intellectuals of the time built the foundation for what is now known as American conservatism.
Nash takes the reader though the three principal strands of American conservatism: libertarianism, traditionalism, and anti-communism. The focus of the book is not on political campaigns or conservative organizations, but rather on ideas. Nash really focuses on the conservative intellectuals of the time and how their objective, collectively, was not just to study and understand the world, but to change it. Ultimately Nash shows how a small group of intellectuals with little status or visibility wove its ideas into a movement powerful enough to elect a president.
This book is not for everyone, but anyone even remotely interested in the foundation of today's conservative movement must read it. I highly recommend The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945 by George H. Nash.