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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.

The primary purpose of the university is to preserve the great ideas of the past and to introduce the present generation to timeless conversations, thus preserving such wisdom for countless and unknown future generations... Conservatives...
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Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join Jeffrey O. Nelson as he explores the books and thinkers who shaped America's Conservative Renaissance. —W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher If a conservative order is indeed to return, we ought to know the tradition...

Because we Americans have become so infatuated with the power and person of the presidency, we have forgotten our republican duty to promote our sovereignty in legislative bodies... If you were interested in finding the single...
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Given the nature of our politically-driven, morality-obsessed middle class society, and its passion for direct action, it follows that the more persons there are who are dedicated to solving problems, the more problems there have to be... The Unheavenly City by Edward C. Banfield (Boston:...
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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...