Overview Reviewers agree that this book is one of the most important statements about conservatism in a generation. It is a sobering reminder that, on the heels of the 1994 elections, Republicans had best not become complacent. The release of the paperback has been strategically placed on the 100th day of the 1st session of the new Congress.
Publishers Description A Forbes columnist discusses the ideological breakdown of the Republican Party, its failure to diminish the deficit or the size of government in twelve years of control, and outlines a plan for renewal through a return to basic issues.Part reportage, part manifesto, "Dead Right" leads readers on a witty and opinionated tour through the chaos of post-Reagan conservatism. It explains why the "Religious Right" is a phony menace ... why President Reagan failed to eliminate even one major spending program ... why the 1992 Republican convention, originally conceived as a cunning ploy, backfired ... and much more. David Frum analyzes the conservative movement's turn away from the economic issues that dominated the 1980s to a new preoccupation with race, ethnicity, and sex. He explains how and why conservatives decided to stop fighting Big Government and start using it. And he warns that a conservatism that loses its anti-Big Government faith is doomed to futility. "Dead Right" dissects the new conservative position on issues ranging from education to workfare, immigration to enterprise zones, and ruthlessly scrutinizes the leadership of the conservative movement. Always lively and provocative, this is the one book that conservatives and their critics must read to understand the past and future of the American Right.
Citations And Professional Reviews Dead Right by David Frum has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Publishers Weekly - 04/03/1995
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Studio: Basic Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8" Width: 4.52" Height: 0.65" Weight: 0.62 lbs.
Release Date May 1, 1995
Publisher Basic Books
ISBN 0465098258 ISBN13 9780465098255
Availability 127 units. Availability accurate as of Oct 21, 2016 06:01.
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More About David Frum
David Frum is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor for the "Weekly Standard." He is also the author of "Dead Right."
David Frum currently resides in Washington, in the state of District Of Columbia. David Frum was born in 1960.
Reviews - What do customers think about Dead Right?
mildly dated, but still useful Jan 9, 2006
Written in the "dark" years between the defeat of George H. W. Bush in 1992 and the Republican "revolution" of 1994, David Frum's book takes stock of the conservative movement, with a particular eye toward the successes and failures of the Reagan administration. On that score, Frum is somewhat negative but, for the most part, accurate: "the great temptation of the Reagan years: to attempt to use government for conservative purposes rather than to push it back within its proper limits." It is a temptation -- indeed, an unfortunate reality -- with which conservatives still struggle.
The book occasionally feels somewhat dated. The issues of 1993 and 1994 are not the issues of today, and the conservative movement has evolved since then. Still, Frum's division of the movement, roughly, into "optimists" (Jack Kemp) "moralists" (Bill Bennett), and "nationalists" (Pat Buchanan) succeeds in capturing the flavor of the moment -- and in bringing home to the modern reader just how much things have changed, even as remnants of those divisions remain.
Did I Take A Wrong Turn? Oct 19, 2004
There were two reasons I read this book. The first is that if you read a lot of political books covering the last 20 years then there is a good chance this book as come up in the text. It always gets good reviews and is held out as the book that will tell you exactly how the far right thinks. The second reason was that I heard the author speak recently and found him interesting and oddly engaging. To offer full disclosure I lean a bit left of the moderate political line so my reading of the book was not to reaffirm my beliefs but to explore the views of the author. Even though I disagree with a number of the authors stances on items I have to give him credit, he is up front about all his views. In reading the book you really get a sense of the man, maybe even more so then the conservative movement he is describing.
So the topic of the book is looking at how the Reagan and Bush 1 administrations, although based in conservative thought, moved to a moderate governing style. The bench mark he primarily bases this theory on is that the size of the federal government has increased over the 12 year Reagan / Bush terms. The author basically tells us what we know. And that is it is very difficult to obtain political popularity if you are dishing out harsh medicine. Of course the Reagan / Bush administrations kept the pork barrel and program growth going, hey it pays the popularity bills. What I found so stark about this section was just how up front the author was. Most politicians talk about curbing growth or eliminating waste, key words to do nothing, but Frum goes out there and lays out all the items he would get rid of. Out with any education assistance, student loans, homeless help, aid to handicapped kids and more, he out did himself with eye opening and very harsh sounding reductions. Basically his view of the Federal government is that it needs to provide a military, a big one at that, and not much more.
The author not only opines about budgetary issues, but also about the great right wing moral crusade. I will let you judge the validity of his arguments, but basically everything wrong with society is due to FDR, LBJ and any and all Democrats. Somehow a reduction in taxes and government services will help reduce teen pregnancy, drug use and just about anything objectionable. Overall I found the book interesting and eye opening. I did find the authors writing style a bit odd at times, the choice of language was unique. As far as conservative manifestos, I will probably stick with Pat Buchanan going forward as he is a better writer, in my opinion. If you are a died in the wool GOP'er then this is a nice back to basics type book.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend . . . Apr 14, 2003
David Frum is a conservative not afraid to give blunt, constructive criticism to his fellows. In "Dead Right", he questions whether the Republican coalition has actually made any progress toward reducing the size and scope of the federal government. In spite of good intentions, he determines very little progress has been made because the GOP is unwilling to incur the pain of telling people what they don't want to hear, which is that moving from a self-reliant nation to a welfare state has damaged our national character.
The contrast between self-reliance and welfarism is the key insight of the book. Frum points out that negative behaviors like divorce, single parenthood, promiscuity, drug abuse, and chronic unemployment are now subsidized by the state and therefore have ballooned to nearly unmanageable proportions.
He realizes that actual budget and program cuts carry a heavy political price. Regardless, he believes conservatives should pay the price of unpopularity and speak the truth in hopes of someday winning a real victory, rather than a pyrrhic one where office is held, but nothing can be done.
In an interesting sideline, Frum takes time to survey the thinking of isolationist "paleoconservatives" who resent the current influence of the liberal-turned-conservative internationist "neo-cons" who changed allegiance during the Cold War. The intramural dispute is very interesting and extremely current with today's events.
Frum is one of the few writers who combines statistical analysis with insider history of the movement to create a dazzling policy book. This is one analysis that doesn't read like a stale pamphlet full of bullet points you've heard a million times. Besides that, Frum is probably the most talented conservative writing today. Pick up "Dead Right" and "How We Got Here: The Seventies" to see for yourself.
Right-wing propaganda Jun 26, 1999
This book gives a disturbing look at the agenda of the far right. Frum shows courage is his ability not to sugar coat the far right's message but state it as it is. He often smacks of racism using such terms as "black" and "underclass" virtually interchangably. Frum advocates stopping immigration because he believes America is risking "cultural suicide." More disturbing is his vision of a good society. Frum endorses reinstating social stigmas against homosexuality, children born out of wedlock, single unmarried women and premarital sex. He openly admits that would like to see a more religious society for the secular reason that it would be a better behaved society. Frum himself does not come off as a religious man himself but as one who promotes Christianity for the purpose of controlling people. Frum's vision of society is disturbing but at the same time refreshing. He proves that the far right is guilty of elitist politics liberals have been accusing them of for years.
"Dead Right" Tells Conservatives What They Need to Know Oct 18, 1996
"Dead Right," by David Frum, lays it all on the line, telling conservatives not necessarily what they want to hear, but definitely what they need to know. Mr. Frum points out the problems of the conservative movement, and discusses where conservatives have went wrong in pushing their agenda, and what they must do to truly save the nation from the liberal muck in which it currently rests.
Mr. Frum puts conservatives into three distince categories: optomists, moralists, and nationalists. In discussing the three categoreis, Frum points out the major problems of each camp. He shows, by example, exactly where each camp has strayed from pushing the true objective of the conservative movement; getting government off the people's backs.
In "Dead Right," Frum objectively shows conservatives where they have went wrong, and he tells them how to fix things before it is too late. This is a must read for anyone who strives to change the way our government works, and bring the function of government back to a situation of which the founding fathers could be proud. We, as conservatives, need a guidance as to meet our goals. "Dead Right" provides that guidance in a conscice and objective manner.