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Ain't My America: The Long, Noble History of Antiwar Conservatism and Middle-American Anti-Imperialism

4.25  ·  Rating Details ·  51 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
From "the finest literary stylist of the American right," a surprising and spirited account of how true conservatives have always been antiwar and anti-empire (Allan Carlson, author of The American Way)

 
Conservatives love war, empire, and the military-industrial complex. They abhor peace, the sole and rightful property of liberals. Right? Wrong.
 
As Bill Kauffman makes clea
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Hardcover, 304 pages
Published April 15th 2008 by Metropolitan Books
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Brian
Aug 13, 2008 Brian rated it really liked it
Total Stars = 4

Entertainment: +1 Stars
Education: +1 Star
Readability: +1 star
Innovation: +1 Stars
Inspiration: +0 Stars

A conservative that doesn't love war? That's crazy talk. Which is why I loved this book. Much as Milton Friedman laments the theft of the term liberal, Bill Kaufman laments the destruction of true conservative values by Neocons. Apparently the term liberal used to mean that liberals were all about taking other peoples money away, rather than taking it away from the rich to gi
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Stephen
Jan 25, 2016 Stephen rated it it was amazing
"You can have your hometown, or you can have the empire. You can't have both."


You don't have to be a punk kid to rage against war. In fact, for most of American history, waging war in foreign quarters was considered radical -- not protesting it. The student war protesters of the 1970s were johnny-come latelys compared to the steady and historic denunciation of imperial adventures from more established quarters. Bill Kauffman's Ain't My America revisits a score of personalities -- politicians, po
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The American Conservative
'Bill Kauffman writes prose—history, novels, journalism—but he is a poet and a prophet. His task in Ain’t My America is to remind us of who we are: a Republic, not an empire, a nation of families and towns, not barracks and bases. Kauffman writes to restore conservatives to their senses. No more war, please. Remember your ancestors. Remember Jefferson and John Quincy Adams, Russell Kirk and Robert Nisbet. What has passed for the Right since the Cold War isn’t right in any sense, and Kauffman set ...more
Michael
Jan 15, 2016 Michael rated it really liked it
Note: My political views have changed a lot since writing this review, but I do still think this is an interesting book with a lot of good points to make, and I wanted to preserve my earlier thoughts.

This book, as well as Ron Paul's Revolution, completely redefined my political philosophy. Before both, I thought of myself as a liberal, but upon reading Paul's manifesto and, moreso, Kauffmann's history of anti-war conservative thought, I realized that the values I actually hold are more accurate
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Kevin Summers
Jan 13, 2014 Kevin Summers rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult
Bill Kauffman is one of my favorite political writers and I have read two of his other books. Ain't My America is written in Kauffman's typically iconoclastic style (and it doesn't have as many swear words as Bye Bye, Miss American Empire). LOL.

Sample quote: "Since the nation is always and forever the enemy of the local, the traditional, and the small, the conservative, if she wishes to 'conserve' anything beyond Irving Berlin songs and Betty Grable DVDs, must 'feel' not nationally but locally,
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Kenneth
May 20, 2012 Kenneth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Good book on classical anti-war politicking. What is important about the book, I think, is that the anti-war position has not just been the cause of hippy peace-niks historically, but rather is tied to an established pedigree in America with a long tradition.

Since Washington's farewell address the anti-war isolationist stance was in fact the most respectable opinion in America. That changed with World War I and then more so with World War II. Still, the argument from tradition is an effective a
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Benjamin Glaser
Aug 30, 2013 Benjamin Glaser rated it it was amazing
This book is really well written, not many 238-page books can I sit down and read in 6 hours time.

The context of the book is also really well done. This work crystallizes a lot of my own thoughts and helped me to realize that what I consider to be wise U.S. foreign policy has a long pedigree going back to some of the founders themselves. One of the highlights of the book to me was the author's chapter length discussion on why militarism and a neo-con foreign policy is anti-family and anti-conse
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Jack
Dec 04, 2012 Jack rated it really liked it
Shelves: u-s-history
In which Bill Kauffman exalts a parade of New Leftists, John Birchers, white supremacists, mainstream mavericks, and assorted oddballs for their anti-war & anti-imperialist political activities. The end result is enlightening and entertaining from start to finish, but I'm docking one star because Kauffman describes beautiful San Diego, California as -- get this -- a "soulless hellhole".
Kevin
Jan 03, 2009 Kevin rated it liked it
Expertly shows why the two party system leaves many valid points of view out of the national conversation in America. Kauffman shows that conservatives have not always been fundamentalist evangelical war hawks, and that social liberalism can be reconciled with economic conservatism.
Peter
Mar 01, 2010 Peter rated it it was amazing
Great book. I was always skeptical if the warmongering Bush. But I've always thought that republicans support war and increased military spending all the time. From reading this book, i've realized that there was a time when republicans weren't crazy and did not support stupid unecessay wars.
William
Dec 05, 2008 William rated it it was amazing
Shelves: our-own-copy
A great discussion of how Americans used to know, and some still do, that war does not conserve, it destroys.
Larry
Jan 12, 2011 Larry added it
Recommends it for: No one
I gave up after a chapter. This author is so impressed with his vocabulary it makes the book unreadable for those of us with only a masters degree.
James
Nov 06, 2014 James rated it really liked it
To be a true conservative has always meant being against the wars of empire. Lots of good history here, with interesting sketches and quotes of people and groups we should not have forgotten.
Rachel
I liked it. ⭐⭐⭐ ...more
Sam
Jul 22, 2011 Sam rated it really liked it
Empire is seductive. If it weren't, this is what American conservatism would look like.
Erica
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Apr 27, 2008
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