Episode 84 – The History of American Conservatism with George Nash
In 1976 historian George H. Nash wrote The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945, a celebrated historical accounting that established much of the narrative for how we think about the development of modern conservatism even today. George Nash joins Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis to discuss the various strands of thought that emerged after the second World War that eventually evolved into a political movement on the Right. Along the way, Dr. Nash shares his insights on the colorful individuals who shaped the debate, how they fought one another, and how an eventual loose consensus was brought forth. Finally, he offers some thoughts on what a lifetime of studying the history of conservatism can teach aspiring conservatives today.
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About George H. Nash
George H. Nash is the epitome of a gentleman and a scholar. A graduate from Amherst College who received his Ph.D. in History from Harvard University, Dr. Nash is an authority on the histories of American conservatism and the life of President Herbert Hoover. Dr. Nash is an independent scholar, historian, and lecturer. He speaks and writes frequently about the history and present direction of American conservatism, the life of Herbert Hoover, the legacy of Ronald Reagan, the education of the Founding Fathers, and other subjects. His writings have appeared in the American Spectator, Claremont Review of Books, Intercollegiate Review, Modern Age, National Review, New York Times Book Review, Policy Review, University Bookman, Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. He has lectured at the Library of Congress; the National Archives; the Herbert Hoover, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon Johnson presidential libraries; the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum; the Hoover Institution; the Heritage Foundation; the McConnell Center; and at various universities and conferences in the United States and Europe. Several of his lectures have been featured on C-SPAN. He has also been interviewed by C-SPAN, National Public Radio, numerous radio stations, and the print media. Dr. Nash lives in Massachusetts.
At the end of the episode, Josh responds to a listener’s question about a comment he made in the episode that dropped on Election Day 2020. Josh had expressed his views that that time that neither major party candidate represented an existential threat to the United States and the listener askes, given what we now know about the election aftermath, accusations of widespread election fraud, the incursion on January 6, and the subsequent white washing of the Republican party, would Josh now view Trump as an existential threat to the country?