Publication Details

Ashbolt, A., Review: A time for choosing: the rise of modern American conservatism, Australasian Journal of American Studies, 24(2) 2005, 116-118.


The steady rise of the radical Republican right as an electoral force since the mid 1960s is an intriguing, albeit chilling, feature of contemporary politics. What was once considered fringe and unacceptable, to the point where Goldwater was decimated by Johnson in 1964, has now become mainstream. We now have an administration that compels National Parks bookstores to stock a book which argues that the Grand Canyon is only 4500 years old, being the result of the global flood described in Genesis. This reflects both the persistence of fundamentalist beliefs in ordinary Americans and a dramatic transformation in American political culture. The seeds of this transformation were sown in the 1950s but really took root with Reagan's victory in the 1966 Californian gubernatorial race.