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Neoconservatism: Why We Need It

Neoconservatism: Why We Need It [Kindle Edition]

Douglas Murray
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Product Description


Conservatism is lost in crisis - Douglas Murray brilliantly defines the way out. -- William Shawcross

Required reading for all conservatives. -- Roger Scruton

Product Description

A vigorous defence of the most controversial political philosophy of our age. In this timely book Douglas Murray explains what neoconservatism is, in theory and practice. He defends it against its critics and explains why – despite the noisy claims of its opponents – neoconservatism is good.

Murray is the first person to make a sustained case for why neoconservatism is relevant to Britain. And neoconservatism, it is argued, is the future not just of the British Conservative party, but of any political party committed to the ideals of freedom at home and abroad.

This book calls for the introduction of neoconservative ideas into British politics, explaining why this is necessary and how it could be achieved.

The early chapters explain neoconservatism’s roots and forebears. A chapter on the Iraq war demonstrates the moral and political vacuum now gripping both ‘left’ and ‘right’ in Britain. Finally, Murray details what British neoconservatism should look like and why the need for it is so urgent.

"Conservatism is lost in crisis - Douglas Murray brilliantly defines the way out." WILLIAM SHAWCROSS

"At last! The Right's answer to Michael Moore" ANDREW ROBERTS

"Required reading for all conservatives". ROGER SCRUTON


Born in 1979, Douglas Murray is a graduate of Magdalen College, Oxford. His first book, Bosie: A Biography of Lord Alfred Douglas, was published in 2000 by Hodder and Stoughton (UK) and Miramax Books (USA). Acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic, the book became a bestseller, and was reissued in paperback in 2001 and 2002. While still at Oxford, Murray began reviewing for the Spectator. He has since written for many other publications, including the Observer and the New York Sun.
Since 2001, he has written widely in support of the US and UK-led wars of intervention. A columnist for, and formerly on the editorial staff of, the online magazine openDemocracy, he joined the Social Affairs Unit as a regular contributor in 2004. He frequently lectures and debates in public, on television and radio, in support of the war in Iraq, and of neoconservative foreign policy in general.

Throughout 2003 Murray attended the Saville Inquiry into the Bloody Sunday shootings, to observe the evidence of the military witnesses. His interest in Northern Ireland, and the Bloody Sunday Inquiry in particular, is the basis for a new book due to be published after Lord Saville issues his final report.

Murray has been interviewed and profiled in the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, Talk, the Guardian, the Scotsman, Vogue and many other publications.

He is also the author of a play, Nightfall, about the Swedish anti-Nazi hero Raoul Wallenberg.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1251 KB
  • Print Length: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Social Affairs Unit (28 Jun 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008G1BRZ2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #91,310 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Nick Cohen of the Right? 17 Aug 2011
By HuddsOn
I felt I had to read this book because I tend towards the view that anyone who has a universally bad press must be at least slightly misrepresented.

The author starts by tracing the genealogy of neoconservatism, beginning with much-maligned Leo Strauss. More a philosopher than a political commentator, Strauss emphasised the importance of studying of 5th Century Athenian thinkers, such as Plato. One of the biggest obstacles to gainful study of ancient texts, he recognised, was the assumption that "we know best" - that we have built on the ancients' achievements and thereby surpassed them. By contrast, studying such writers with an uncluttered mind, and indeed with the assumption that they were in fact possessed of greater wisdom than us, gives us unparalleled freedom to question modern society. One of Strauss's other key contributions was his re-affirmation of the primacy of "natural right" - the tenet that some acts are intrinsically right or wrong rather than depending on the cultural context.

Murray shows how later thinkers built on these intellectual foundations. He demonstrates how the early neo-conservatives rose to the moral challenges of the early and middle post-War period - the menace of intellectual relativism in education; the counter-culture (not in the sense of an alternative lifestyle, but rather in the sense of a truculent and nihilistic rejection of the majority culture), and perhaps most significantly, what they saw as the ambivalent liberal establishment response to the Communist menace. A distinctive and abiding feature of neoconservatism, the author states, is what he calls "moral clarity" - having clear and properly thought-out moral principles, applying them unswervingly, and following them to their logical conclusions even if these are unpalatable.
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120 of 147 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book 3 May 2006
If, like me, everything you know about neoconservative politics, and politics in general, comes from the popular press, you need to read this book. Douglas Murray's work is a breath of fresh air. It's well-informed, engaging, easy to read and, crucially, short; you can get through it in a matter of days. Compared with other political ideals in history, and in light of the experience of Britain in particular, I also found the neoconservatism he championed both reasonable and convincing. 'Neoconservatism: why we need it' is a brilliant discourse on where Britain is at as a Western society, and where it's heading. But while it makes for some disturbing reading at times, my intellect and spirits were ultimately uplifted when I read this book. Finally there's someone out there who calls a spade a spade and doesn't worry about hurting the spade's feelings.
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By larni
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An excellent analysis of the political situation in USA - but somewhat dated now. However, Douglas Murray gives a convincing argument for neoconservatism.
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