While college campuses and urban centers across the US were undergoing a left wing revolution of sorts, McGirr argues that the new, white, middle class suburbs were experiencing similar radical change. This change, however, was more reactionary and neo-conservative than revolutionary, and saw the emergence of the New Right. Often driven by middle class women and In her study of s suburban activism in Orange County, Lisa McGirr essentially argues that the 60s saw a counter-revolution. These suburban warriors saw themselves as the true Americans, products of the social mobility that defined the American Dream. The suburb itself acted as a powerful force in the creation of this ideology, acting as a protected space in which ideas of otherness and exceptionalism could easily foster, in which the physical and social removal from the tumult of the city acted as a dividing force and made the s revolution seem distant, unnecessary, and unwarranted. Jun 01, James rated it it was amazing McGirr argued that the rise of the New Right, grassroots conservativism that fused anti-communism and attacks on the New Deal through an alliance with libertarians and social conservatives, was rooted in southern Californias Orange County in the s and 60s.
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Reviews 17 In the early s, American conservatives seemed to have fallen on hard times. McCarthyism was on the run, and movements on the political left were grabbing headlines.
We learn what motivated them and how they interpreted their political activity. Lisa McGirr shows that their movement was not one of marginal people suffering from status anxiety, but rather one formed by successful entrepreneurial types with modern lifestyles and bright futures.
Through this history, she traces the evolution of the New Right from a virulent anticommunist, anti-establishment fringe to a broad national movement nourished by evangelical Protestantism. Incisive, yet fair, this represents an important standing of how antimodernist ideologies continue to thrive. Suburban Warriors goes a long way to explaining the origins of a movement whose influence remains formidable to this day.
McGirr blends political and social history and goes where few analysts before: to the kitchen tables as well as the meeting halls of the early right-wing movement. Remember welfare? Whatever happened to it? Where did affirmative action go? Miller, National Review "Should be read by anyone interested in American political developments of the last four decades.
This is a fair-minded book from which both the Right and its opponents could learn a great deal. Suburban Warriors is a welcome addition to contemporary American history. It is the first long look at activists who have been woefully understudied given their influence on the course of recent politics. McGirr has provided an elegantly written analysis of the Right which will reshape historical understandings of the conservative movement for some time to come.
Schneider, Weekly Standard "McGirr is enlightening, offering much solid research on the devoted berserkers who seized the Republican Party in to foist Goldwater on an unwelcoming nation. McGirr has uncovered something important about the activists of the right. Readers will find her attempt to understand them, rather than dismiss or condemn them, both rewarding and challenging.
How did a crypto-liberal, Northeast-dominated, establishment-oriented party become a populist, counter-liberal crusade?
Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right
List: 20th Century. In short, then, this book explores the Right as a social movement. One on hand, the early influence of conservative Protestantism had given Orange County a reputation for a strict, individualistic moralism even by the turn of the century. The defense boom of WWII and beyond encouraged the influx of anti-tax, pro-business land and real estate speculators among other types of free-market worshipping entrepreneurs and "cowboy capitalists" , culturally conservative, Eastern Establishment-loathing Midwesterners, and rabidly anti-Communist and pro-military defense contractors. In the cultural atmosphere of staunch individualism that followed, the connective tissues of community were sorely lacking - a lack quickly remedied by the explosion of evangelical, Pentecostal, and fundamentalist churches throughout the area.