BACK TO BASICS by Burton Yale Pines

BACK TO BASICS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In today's America, the heavenly mandate has shifted from a faltering Liberal Dynasty to a vigorous resurgent Traditionalist Dynasty,"" declares American Enterprise Institute resident journalist Pines, also of Time magazine; and he proceeds to record the recent triumphs of the re-aroused right in assorted areas. The book's heroes range from PR corporate consultant Charles Crutchfield, of ""Talk-Back Associates"" (""He particularly enjoys preparing hs clients for abrasive reporters""), to such personalities as Phyllis Schlafly and Jerry Falwell, to the neoconservative intellectuals. For them and for Pines, the principal villain is of course government in all its non-defense-related forms; and much of the book is devoted to recent citizen revolts against government regulators and reformers-including the efforts to prevent the creation of a federal Consumer Protection Agency and to block adoption of the Equal Rights Amendment. But Pines approvingly--and indiscriminately--amasses evidence to show a popular return to basic education, evangelical religion, retributive penal justice, and homemaking as a ""prestige"" pursuit. Strident in tone and sometimes outright silly (under ERA, ""religions could be forced to ordain women as ministers, priests, and rabbis""), this is chiefly a dossier for the already-converted--or for those rare liberals unaware of the number of enemies out there. Distinctly ancillary, then, to Podhoretz et al. as a polemic, to Kevin Phillips (p. 475) for analysis, to numerous others for area-by-area argumentation--but, given the number of relatively obscure, specialized or localized examples, of some possible momentary interest as a catalogue of ""traditionalist"" activism.

Pub Date: July 6th, 1982
Publisher: Morrow