New This Week: “Resistance from the Right”

It’s a new week and another New Books Tuesday! Today Resistance from the Right: Conservatives and the Campus Wars in Modern America by Lauren Lassabe Shepherd is now available wherever books are sold.

A thoroughly researched, revelatory political history with abundant relevance for today. . . . Shepherd presents compelling evidence for the ways that these groups, although a minority on campus, have exerted long-lasting influence.

Kirkus Reviews (STARRED review)

Pivoting from studies that emphasize the dominance of progressivism on American college campuses during the late sixties and early seventies, Lauren Lassabe Shepherd positions conservative critiques of, and agendas in, American colleges and universities as an essential dimension of a broader conversation of conservative backlash against liberal education.

This book explores the story of how stakeholders in American higher education organized and reacted to challenges to their power from the New Left and Black Power student resistance movements of the late 1960s. By examining the range of conservative student organizations and coalition building, Shepherd shows how wealthy donors and conservative intellectuals trained future GOP leaders such as Karl Rove, Bill Barr, Jeff Sessions, Pat Buchanan, and others in conservative politics, providing them with tactics to consciously drive American politics and culture further to the authoritarian right and to “reclaim” American higher education.

Any organization founded by William F. Buckley and M. Stanton Evans is not going to be supportive of free speech. As historian Lauren Lassabe Shepherd documents in Resistance from the Right, Young Americans for Freedom has been characterized from the start as a group of extremely pampered establishment scions who are prone to both self-pity and deploying their social and legal power to silence their political enemies.

Jeet Heer, The Nation

Lauren Lassabe Shepherd is instructor of higher education at the University of New Orleans.