Let's just start off by saying that I was very surprised by this book. When I first read about it I thought that this could be a good read. When it arrived in the mail, I turned to the leaf and the first sentence stunned me. It read, "The main Hardball host Chris Matthews calls "the legendary R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr." has done it again. OH NO, they duped me into reading a book based off of some soft not-so-really conservative preaching that *Neo Conservatism Lives* (the asterisks are there to pretend that's being flashed on-and-off in bright lights - maybe a little big band music playing in the background).
At that point, I had to put down After the Hangover: The Conservatives' Road to Recovery and wonder how I was going to get through this. And with a few sighs I started to read through R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.'s latest work and was incredibly surprised at how much I agreed with his view on real conservative thought. This is not a book that harangues the decades of conservative culture growth, but one that brings everything that is great and not-so-great to the table. As a young conservative of 30 I didn't know about the roots that were put down for the American conservative. We are an inclusive bunch that desires the greatness of American values, or American Exceptionalism. Emmett does a great job of giving the history of the culture and some of the great intellectuals that have placed their stamp on it.
It's wasn't all roses though. After the Hangover doesn't start off as well as I would prefer. Tyrrell Jr. does talk about his other books throughout the first chapter and that wasn't that interesting to me. But after that this book is tough to put down. That's saying a lot considering that it's political non-fiction and I usually read fantasy. I'm not so sure a Liberal would read this and agree with everything that the author states, but it hits home for me. In fact, the best chapter is the last chapter. He lays out the reforms necessary for America to become prosperous, and to root it's foundation in firm principles. If you just read this last chapter, you'd be missing out on the rest of a great book, but at least you would have a coherent look at how great of a country we can be.
Rating: 8 of 10! Thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend to anyone willing to look a little deeper into the conservative mind.
Note: I think I'm supposed to mention that I received this book for free from BookSneeze. I would spend money on this book though. It deserves a space in my library, and I hope that I can someday point to it and tell someone that our government decided to implement conservative ideas and that is why we're prosperous today.