ROAD TO THE RIGHT by Gordon A. Harrison


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The title is misleading because this book is primarily an appeal to the extreme right to curb their more selfish impulses and antipathy towards government, and join the moderate Conservatives in a responsible approach towards leadership in America. The book runs through American history and records the failures of two former Conservative parties, the Federalists and the Whigs. The author introduces a confusing note here, for while urging Conservatives to adopt a more active approach to politics, responsive to democratic needs, he claims at the same time that it is not entirely necessary for Conservatives to ""make good"" in office; they fill their function by staying afloat, conserving whatever needs to be conserved in any particular period, and restraining the radicals and the ""doers"". Mr. Harrison is more respectful of the achievements of the Democrats or ""radicals"" in the opposing camp than of the extremists in his own Conservative or Republican camp; he reiterates the need for two parties and urges merely that the Conservatives pull their own weight more intelligently to achieve a balance or tension with the Democrats. The Democrats seek liberty for many in greater equality; the Conservatives seek individual liberty in guarantees of minority rights. Both parties need curbs:- Democrats lest their final goal lead to the end of individual liberty; Conservatives lest they lead to too much power for the few. Mr. Harrison ends with an appeal for Republicans not to retreat from political power, as did Hoover, but to use it, frankly confessing that their main interest is business -- not atomized, self-centered business, but progressive business, concerned with the welfare of all groups. There are many pungent analyses and insights here, but readers, whatever their political persuasions, may be left unclear as to the main, theme, the precise program for his progressive Republicans.

Pub Date: Oct. 27th, 1954
Publisher: Morrow