Tag: Sheri Berman

To Play the Part of a Lord: A Reply to Andrew Sullivan about Conservatism

Andrew Sullivan—whose views on conservatism I take very seriously (one of the main arguments of my book is inspired by and aimed at his writing)—has linked to Sheri Berman’s response to my critique and identified one paragraph in particular as the “money quote.” If these are Sullivan’s apprehensions, they merit a response. If this paragraph is the crux of concern, it can be dispatched fairly easily. The paragraph in question makes two claims; I’ve divided my response accordingly.   Claim 1: “If conservatism is always about the submission and subjugation of the lower orders, then any popular support for such movements must—by definition—be misguided, misinformed, or the result of trickery.” This claim rests upon two mistaken assumptions: The lower orders […]

A Last Word on My Exchange with Sheri Berman

Sheri Berman has written a response to my response to her New York Times review of my book. It doesn’t add anything new to the conversation, and I see no need to reiterate a set of arguments I’ve now made twice. I stand by what I wrote in my critique: Berman did not represent the arguments of my book in her review. Readers can read the exchange and judge for themselves.

The New York Times Review of The Reactionary Mind: My Response

A review of The Reactionary Mind appears in the Sunday New York Times Book Review. It’s by Sheri Berman, a respected political scientist at Barnard and author of an important book on the origins and triumph of social democracy. It’s a negative review—which is unfortunate and unpleasant. But beyond matters of fortune and feelings, there is substance, and that calls for at least a provisional response. In her opening paragraph, Berman writes: A book documenting the wreckage and continually tracing the links between right-wing ideas, policies and outcomes would be a significant contribution to public debate. Unfortunately, Corey Robin’s “Reactionary Mind” is not that book. My goal in writing The Reactionary Mind was to understand the right—not to criticize it […]