Sam Tanenhaus discusses his new book, The Death of Conservatism. For 75 years, Tanenhaus argues, the right has been split into two factions: consensus-driven "realists," who believe in the virtue of government and its power to adjust to changing conditions, and movement "revanchists," who distrust government and society and often find themselves at war with America itself.
Eventually, Tanenhaus writes, the revanchists prevailed, and their success resulted in today’s decadent "movement conservatism," a defunct ideology that is "profoundly and defiantly unconservative -- in its arguments and ideas, its tactics and strategies, above all in its vision."
The discussion is moderated by Bruce Handy, a deputy editor at Vanity Fair.
Bruce Handy, a frequent contributor to The New York Times Book Review, is a senior articles editor and writer at Vanity Fair.
Sam Tanenhaus is the editor of both The New York Times Book Review and the "Week in Review" section of the Times. From 1999 to 2004 he was a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, where he wrote often on politics.
His work has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, The New York Review of Books, and many other publications. Tanenhaus's previous book, Whittaker Chambers: A Biography, won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.