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Betrayal of the American Right

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This remarkable piece of history will change the way you look at American politics. It shows that the corruption of American "conservatism" began long before George W. Bush ballooned the budget and asserted dictatorial rights over the country and the world. The American Right long ago slid into the abyss. Betrayal of the American Right is the full story!
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Rothbard identifies a movement he calls the “Old Right.” This was a libertarian movement that included Albert Jay Nock, H. L. Mencken, and John T. Flynn. It was in part a reaction to American entry into World War I, and this group joined with revisionist historians like Harry Elmer Barnes in challenging the Versailles war guilt thesis that placed exclusive blame on Germany for the war.

The Old Right also strongly opposed the New Deal, because of its statist and bureaucratic tendencies. This opposition led the group to ally with conservative Congressmen who also opposed Roosevelt. The Old Right cemented its alliance with Congressional foes of the president by joining forces with isolationist critics of Roosevelt’s efforts to bring America into World War II.

After the war, the Old Right was derailed by an interventionist group of anti-communist crusaders, who called for a global war against communism. Libertarian ideas would have to go by the wayside, this group held, owing to the exigencies of the struggle. William F. Buckley, Jr., the founder and editor of National Review, played a key role in imposing the new mindset and excluding the remaining figures of the Old Right, such as Flynn. Rothbard was himself involved in this conflict and he is able to tell from the inside the sorry tale of Buckley’s machinations.


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  • Introduction by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
  • Preface to the 1991 Revision by Murray N. Rothbard
    1. Two Rights, Old and New
    2. Origins of the Old Right, I: Early Individualism
    3. Origins of the Old Right, II: The Tory Anarchism of Mencken and Nock
    4. The New Deal and the Emergence of the Old Right
    5. Isolationism and the Foreign New Deal
    6. World War II: The Nadir
    7. The Postwar Renaissance I: Libertarianism
    8. The Postwar Renaissance II: Politics and Foreign Policy
    9. The Postwar Renaissance III: Libertarians and Foreign Policy
    10. The Postwar Renaissance IV: Swansong of the Old Right
    11. Decline of the Old Right
    12. National Review and the Triumph of the New Right
    13. The Early 1960s: From Right to Left
    14. The Late 1960s: The New Left
  • Bibliography
  • Index
ISBN 9781610167741
Publisher Ludwig von Mises Institute
Publication Date 9/1/2007
Binding PB
Page Length 231
Dimensions 6x9

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