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Robert Nisbet

Robert Nisbet (1913-1996) was a professor of sociology at Columbia University and authored numerous books, including Quest for Community, Conservatism: Dream and Reality, The Present Age, and Twilight of Authority.
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Two decades ago, George Nash, in his The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945, told the story of how American conservatism was forged rather uneasily as a political movement from three intellectual groupings:...
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In the 1950s, Robert Nisbet summarized the effects of nineteenth-century individualism on modern humans in the book The Quest for Community: “ individualism has resulted in masses of normless, unattached, insecure individuals who lose even the...
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Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join Robert Nisbet as he reflects on his landmark book, The Quest for Community. —W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher In the retrospect of forty...
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Today’s political debates often set up a simple tension: the individual versus government. Certainly individual liberty and limited government are fundamental principles of a free society, but such a polarized perspective overlooks the...
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Last Saturday I had the honor of addressing the 50th anniversary meeting of the Philadelphia Society. The title of the meeting was “The Road Ahead—Serfdom or Liberty?” My remarks sought to suggest that conservatives should be...
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Featured Book: The Quest For Community, by Robert Nisbet, ranks high among the foundational works of post-war American conservatism. In it, Nisbet argued that the emergence of the “centralized territorial State” in the wake of the Middle...

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. But what is “best” for some is “worst” for others, and vice-versa. Monday, President Obama was sworn in for his second...
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We have surrendered what once was a grand community here in these United States. Robert Nisbet writes about this in his book Quest for Community. It’s not just the digital ones and zeroes...
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In the retrospect of forty years I can see my book, The Quest for Community (first published by Oxford University Press in 1953), as one of the harbingers of what would...
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There will be ample disputation at this week’s and next’s presidential nominating conventions, but one point is virtually sure to unite them: a rhetorical commitment to the “War on Terror” and, particularly, to the...
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This is part 2 of this essay, for part 1 click here. Glenn Davis According to Nisbet, warfare seduces largely because acts of war demand certain qualities of character from...
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By common assent modern conservatism, as political philosophy, springs from Edmund Burke: chiefly from his Reflections on the Revolution in France, published in 1790. That book is of course more...
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Russell Kirk Thirty years ago, Irving Babbitt wrote that the highest order of true work is an ethical working, labor of the spirit; and that no important problem of economics or politics can be...

Robert Nisbet Unlike Max Weber or Emile Durkheim, Robert A. Nisbet has not produced a remarkably original theory that has shaken the sociological world or revolutionized its concepts...