Sam Tanenhaus on Conservatism

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Sam Tanenhaus has spent twenty years studying American conservatism. Hobnobbed with Bill Buckley. Wrote a much-admired biography of Whittaker Chambers. Dipped deep into the core philosophy of Edmund Burke.

Now, he looks around to find Rush Limbaugh, Bill Kristol, and Sarah Palin in charge of movement conservatism. Anger replacing loyal opposition. A destructive impulse killing true conservative principles.

Rush won’t like it, but Tanenhaus says honest, old-time conservatism is dead.

This hour, On Point: Sam Tanenhaus and his new book, “The Death of Conservatism.”

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.Guests:

Sam Tanenhaus, editor of The New York Times Book Review and the Week in Review section of the Times. He’s the author of a well-received biography of Whittaker Chambers and is working on an authorized biography of conservative icon William F. Buckley Jr. His new book is "The Death of Conservatism." 
Here's an excerpt from "The Death of Conservatism" (at and an essay in The New Republic, "Conservatism Is Dead: An Intellectual Autopsy of the Movement," from which the book grew.

John Fund, editorial page columnist for The Wall Street Journal and author of "Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy," released in an updated edition for 2008.

This program aired on September 10, 2009.


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