Since its inception under the name The Alternative in 1967, The American Spectator has influenced a generation of conservative thinkers with its unique view of American politics and its witty irreverence. On the occasion of its fortieth anniversary, the magazine commissioned a series of essays posing the question Can the ideals that made America great provide a model for the world?
The essays, written by some of the most distinguished political thinkers of our time, paint a picture of a nation at a crossroads and an epoch of relative peace and good will hanging in the balance. How should the United States proceed in its efforts to advance the cause of liberty in the world? Has the grand tradition of “military liberalism” come to an end in Iraq? Is the democratization of the Middle East a fool’s errand? Have conservatives forsaken Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s maxim that culture, not politics, determines the success of a society?
As one would expect from The American Spectator, the responses are both fiery and edifying, representing a broad swath of American conservative thought. The essayists include James Q. Wilson, Norman Podhoretz, Andrew Roberts, Victor Davis Hanson, James Kurth, Roger Scruton, Lawrence E. Harrison, Daniel Johnson, Fouad Ajami, Natan Sharansky, and Michael Novak.