Although conservatives may all look alike to their critics, they disagree among themselves about what it means to be a conservative and who is entitled to bear the name. The new volume Varieties of Conservatism, edited by Peter Berkowitz (Hoover Institution Press, 2004) examines the questions that divide conservatives today and presents the variety of answers put forward by classical conservatives, libertarians, and neoconservatives.
The contributors—drawn from varied professional backgrounds—each bring a distinctive voice to bear, illustrating the book's overarching argument that conservatism in America represents a family of opinions and ideas rather than a rigid doctrine or settled creed. At the same time, the contributors clarify the moral underpinnings of the varieties of American conservatism and shed light on the political implications of each variety.
The essays in this volume demonstrate that the debate among conservatives about which principles and practices are most urgently in need of protection is also a debate with and within that larger liberalism that undergirds the American constitutional order.
The essays suggest as well that this larger liberalism, with its bedrock devotion to individual liberty and equality before the law, serves as the common ground on which the contending camps within conservatism—and indeed conservatives in their contentions with progressives—can come together, debate civilly, and discover ways to advance the public good.
Peter Berkowitz teaches at George Mason University School of Law and is a fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is the author of two books, and the editor of several books including the companion to this volume, Varieties of Progressivism in America (Hoover Institution Press, 2004).
Also contributing to the volume are Randy E. Barnett, Austin B. Fletcher Professor at Boston University School of Law; Joseph Bottum, books and arts editor of the Weekly Standard; Richard A. Epstein, Peter and Kirstin Bedford Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and James Parker Hall Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Chicago; Jacob Heilbrunn, editorial writer for the Los Angeles Times; Mark C. Henrie, senior editor of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, and Tod Lindberg, research fellow at the Hoover Institution and editor of Policy Review.
Varieties of Conservatism
edited by Peter Berkowitz
167 pages, $15, October 2004