The Rise and Evolution of the American Conservative Movement

Class Start Date
Class End Date

October 22-26, 2016 at the University of Oklahoma

In this seminar, students will investigate the history of conservatism from the 1960s through the millennium and will learn how important leaders and organizations of the late 20th century helped build a coalition of supporters who transformed the American political scene. The emergence of the divisions in the American politics, and the limitations of established coalitions as reflected in the 2016 elections, will also be considered. In addition, there will be a comparison between US conservative politics and the right-wing political parties of Europe.

Readings provided by OSLEP

RICK PERLSTEIN is the author of The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan. Before that, he published Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America (2008), a New York Times bestseller picked as one of the best nonfiction books of the year by over a dozen publications, and Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus, winner of the 2001 Los Angeles Times Book Award for history. A contributing writer at The Nation, former chief national correspondent for the Village Voice, and a former online columnist for the New Republic and Rolling Stone, his journalism and essays have appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, and many other publications. Politico called him the “chronicler extraordinaire of American conservatism,” who “offers a hint of how interesting the political and intellectual dialogue might be if he could attract some mimics.” The Nation called him the “hypercaffeinated Herodotus of the American century.” Born in 1969 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he lives in Chicago. In his spare time, he performs jazz piano and vocals and practices yoga.