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World

What conservatives lack

29 November 2022

2:03 PM

29 November 2022

2:03 PM

A famous passage in the preface to Lionel Trilling’s book The Liberal Imagination is widely quoted and just as widely misunderstood. Trilling, a Columbia University professor and literary critic, wrote that at the time — this was 1950 — that there was no articulate conservative or reactionary thought in America, only conservative or reactionary “impulses” expressed “in action or in irritable mental gestures which seek to resemble ideas.

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