This little book will continue to spark controversy: it is a witty, erudite and opinionated account of one of the most significant movements of our time. Joanna Bourke, Times Higher Education Corey Robin's extraordinary collection, constantly fresh, continuously sharp, and always clear and eloquent, provides the only satisfactory philosophically coherent account of elite conservatism I have ever read. Then there's this bonus: his remarkably penetrating side inquiry into the notion of 'national security' as a taproot of America's contemporary abuse of democracy. It's all great, a model in the exercise of humane letters. Rick Perlstein, author of Nixonland This book is a fascinating exploration of a central idea: that conservatism is, at its heart, a reaction against democratic challenges, in public and private life, to hierarchies of power and status. Corey Robin leads us through a series of case studies over the last few centuries - from Hobbes to Ayn Rand, from Burke to Sarah Palin - showing the power of this idea by illuminating conservatives both sublime and ridiculous. Kwame Anthony Appiah, Professor of Philosophy, Princeton University Beautifully written, these essays deepen our understanding of why conservatism remains a powerful force in American politics. Joyce Appleby, Professor Emerita of History, University of California-Los Angeles, and past president of the American Historical Association The Reactionary Mind is a wonderfully good read. It combines up-to-the-minute relevance with an eye to the intellectual history of conservatism in all its protean forms, going back as far as Hobbes, and taking in not only restrained and sentimental defenders of tradition such as Burke, but his more violent, proto-fascist contemporary Joseph de Maistre. Some readers will enjoy Corey Robin's dismantling of different recent thinkers - Barry Goldwater, Antonin Scalia, Irving Kristol; others will enjoy his demolition of Ayn Rand's intellectual pretensions. Some will be uncomfortable when they discover that those who too lightly endorse state violence, and even officially sanctioned torture, include some of their friends. That is one of the things that makes this such a good book. Alan Ryan, Professor of Political Theory, Oxford University
About the Author
Corey Robin teaches political science at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center. His writings have appeared in the New York Times, Harper's, and the London Review of Books.