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Small Men on the Wrong Side of History Reviews

Small Men on the Wrong Side of History by Ed West

Small Men on the Wrong Side of History

The Decline, Fall and Unlikely Return of Conservatism

Ed West

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Constable
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publication date: 19 Mar 2020
ISBN: 9781472130822

Exploring why conservatives have lost almost every political argument since 1945, Ed West looks at this endless litany of failure from the perspective of one of the losers, in a semi-autobiographical, self-deprecating way.

3 stars out of 5
29 May 2020

"West’s book stands as a penetrating conservative cultural critique worthy of a Daniel Bell or Christopher Lasch."

Small Men also believes the left’s control of educational institutions is matched by its dominance of the arts, especially film. From the 1960s onward, the stock villain became the Nazi or white redneck; the heroes white liberals who vanquished them. West suggests the volume of racism and sexism is in decline, but the Nazi and Jim Crow past is continually dredged up to motivate the troops...
West’s book stands as a penetrating conservative cultural critique worthy of a Daniel Bell or Christopher Lasch. I have one quibble: his thesis that today’s youth will remain progressive. The data are far from clear on this score, and Britain is probably an outlier due to the Brexit effect.

Reviews

4 stars out of 5
15 Mar 2020

"insightful, poignant and at times hilarious"

West laments how too few conservatives appear to recognise what is going on, while too many are making it worse by resorting to “shouty and self-satisfied” takes that play well to the converted but do little to widen the tent. That brings us to what is strangely absent in the book: conservative thinkers. The recent passing of Sir Roger Scruton threw light on the empty corner that, once upon a time, used to be full of them. Where are they today? What do they have to say? Who is providing the intellectual rationale, if any such thing exists, for Johnsonism? Until such questions are answered, conservatives will be on the back foot no matter how many elections they win.