Aurélie Godet

«The Godfather» (1920-2009): Irving Kristol's role in the ascendency of american conservatorism

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: United States; Conservatism; Irving Kristol

Until the 1960s, conservative ideas were ignored by the «Eastern Establishment» that dominated the U.S. Republican party structure. How did the Gop's rapprochement with conservatism come about, then? Individuals like prolific essayist Irving Kristol no doubt played a key role. From the 1970s onwards, the co-editor of «The Public Interest» succeeded William Buckley as the main architect of the conservative takeover of the Republican Party through his promotion of «neoconservatism». On the basis of extensive archival work, this article summarizes the different stages of the «godfather»'s intellectual development and seeks to uncover the true meaning of the persuasion he is credited with inventing. The author's conclusion is that, rather than a genuine «synthesis» of classical liberalism and Russell Kirk-style conservatism, neoconservatism would be better defined as a «collage» of concepts borrowed from both traditions.

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