Books by Patrick J. Buchanan

Released: July 8, 2014

"A mostly evenhanded (from this great distance) consideration of a president from one of his closest advisers."
The populist conservative and senior adviser to Richard Nixon tells how he helped turn the loser into a winner. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 18, 2011

"Liberals may rightly dismiss this sprawling, often rambling book as nativist claptrap. Readers willing to excuse the nods to predictable right-wing shibboleths and bogeymen will find it a troubling analysis of how America has changed for the worse in the last half century, and how difficult it will be to pull it back from the loss of freedom and prosperity Buchanan sees not far ahead."
Buchanan (Churchill, Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World, 2009, etc.) mourns the passing of the America of his youth. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 1, 2008

"Vintage Buchanan: provocative, intelligent and not a little strange."
Conservative stalwart Buchanan skewers the Republicans and the rich. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 18, 2002

"Shameless, embarrassing rantings. Little attests to the moral health of this nation more than the fact that it's made a mockery of Buchanan's presidential ambitions time and again."
It's the Great White Hope pitted against the godless hordes in Buchanan's (A Republic, Not an Empire, 1999, etc.) stark worldview from the fringe right. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 17, 1999

A theoretically coherent analysis but an unnecessarily flawed prescription. Political pundit and presidential candidate Buchanan embraces George Washington's advice to avoid foreign entanglements and argues that American foreign policy has become hopelessly overextended. The hubris which identifies vital interests in every nook and cranny of the world and allows us to believe we should shape other political regimes and even their policies according to democratic and humanitarian standards is folly flirting with disaster. No empire in history has survived such ambitious commitments; indeed, no empire has ever undertaken such commitments. Consequently, Buchanan advocates reining in our definition of national interests and undertaking a foreign policy much more independent of states and organizations outside our borders. Critics deride such suggestions as isolationism, but Buchanan appropriately points out that such charges are made to "stifle debate." In fact, his approach is that of a true conservative, offering a perspective rooted in American tradition initiated by Washington and maintained until Wilson took us into WWI. Unfortunately, he forfeits the credibility built up through systematic logic and historical analysis by insisting that intervention in Vietnam was "a legitimate war of containment" in a book where the necessity of American participation in WWI and WWII is questioned. Perhaps this inability to overcome old wounds and rigorously apply his own foreign policy criteria reflects Buchanan's overriding concern with culture-war rhetoric on the domestic front. Certainly this must be the case in his attack on "hyphenated Americanism" and the great dangers posed by the loss of "our American identity as one nation." Whatever one's reaction to multiculturalism, it's hard to see a necessary linkage between Washington's admonition against foreign entanglements and Buchanan's flirtation with xenophobia. Why this material is included in a purportedly serious discussion of foreign policy is unclear. Hopefully readers will look past the warts and approach the central argument with the gravity it deserves. Read full book review >
Released: April 13, 1998

This book is exactly what you expect it to be. As a political adviser, journalist, and presidential candidate, Buchanan is no shrinking violet, and after only a few pages, the reader of this volume will wonder if he writes his drafts in all caps. Whatever one's politics, it is impossible not to marvel at Buchanan's energy, individuality, and certainty about the world. The unique thing about Buchanan is not that he defies labeling, but rather that so many borderline oxymoronic labels apply: populist Republican partisan; strident nostalgic nationalist; social conservative intent on stirring things up. And, of course, there are the villains that populate Buchanan's world: "cloistered academics," "new-class journalists," economists, elites, Washington, D.C., and, of course, liberals. But while the effects of an odd selective vision (magnifying what he wants to see and obscuring complicating factors) are everywhere, it would be a mistake to read this book only for the entertainment value. Buchanan begins with a harangue about free traders killing America, follows with a protectionist's history of America, and concludes with recent events that indicate the forces of good may yet triumph over the evil of free trade. While trade is the surface theme throughout, however, the deeper argument reveals more about Buchanan's politics. But what is it? He claims to be writing about economic justice, "closing the divisions and easing the tensions in society that emanate from the economic order," but this claim is suspect. At best such concerns are addressed indirectly while carefully skirting genuinely redistributive policies. A more likely candidate is his distinction between nationalists and globalists, ultimately a cultural and intellectual rather than an economic division. This seems to be the culture war Buchanan wants to fight and where he toys with moving beyond strong arguments to demagogic rhetoric. Inspiring and infuriating. (illustrations, not seen) Read full book review >