From the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, a monumental new reflection on American conservatism, examining how the Founders' belief in natural rights created a great American political traditionone that now finds itself under threat.
For more than four decades, George F. Will has attempted to discern the principles of the Western political tradition and apply them to America's civic life. Today, the stakes could hardly be higher. Vital questions about the nature of man, of rights, of equality, of majority rule are bubbling just beneath the surface of daily events in America.
The Founders' vision, articulated first in the Declaration of Independence and carried out in the Constitution, gave the new republic a framework for government unique in world history. Their beliefs in natural rights, limited government, religious freedom, and in human virtue and dignity ushered in two centuries of American prosperity. Now, as Will shows, conservatism is under threatboth from progressives and elements inside the Republican Party. America has become an administrative state, while destructive trends have overtaken family life and higher education. Semi-autonomous executive agencies wield essentially unaccountable power. Congress has failed in its duty to exercise its legislative powers. And the executive branch has slipped the Constitution's leash.
In the intellectual battle between the vision of Founding Fathers like James Madison, who advanced the notion of natural rights that pre-exist government, and the progressivism advanced by Woodrow Wilson, the Founders have been losing. It's time to reverse America's political fortunes.
Expansive, intellectually thrilling, and written with the erudite wit that has made Will beloved by millions of readers, The Conservative Sensibility is an extraordinary new book from one of America's most celebrated political writers.
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About the Author
George F. Will writes a twice-weekly syndicated column on politics and domestic and foreign affairs for the Washington Post. He began his column with The Post in 1974, and he received the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1977. He is also a regular contributor to MSNBC and NBC News. His fourteen previous books include One Man's America, Men at Work, and Statecraft as Soulcraft. Will grew up in Champaign, Ill., attended Trinity College and Oxford University and received a PhD from Princeton.