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PCCBS Book Prize 2012: Reba Soffer, History, Historians, and Conservatism in Britain and America (Oxford, 2010)

Published: August 23, 2012

Winner of the 2012 PCCBS Book Prize
Reba Soffer, History, Historians, and Conservatism in Britain and America (Oxford, 2010)

The winner of the 2012 PCCBS Book Prize is a longstanding member of our regional organization. Prof. Reba Soffer’s History, Historians, and Conservatism in Britain and America (Oxford University Press, 2010) is a topical and richly textured study of conservative historiography in Britain and America during the 20th century. Soffer carefully situates her conservative historians within their diverse contexts. They emerge as multifaceted characters whose stories illuminate broader themes in modern history, most notably the shift from “compassionate conservatism,” with its emphasis on the reciprocal obligations of individuals and the community, to what Soffer calls the “debacle” of contemporary neoconservatism. She persuasively revises the common assumption that conservatives had no ideology--that they were the “stupid party” to whom ideas were anathema. Instead, she locates conservative thinkers within a larger, coherent, worldview whose confident Chauvinism and emphases on racial histories and identities offer a cautionary tale to modern readers. History, Historians, and Conservatism in Britain and America is a model of careful research and lucid thinking by a leading intellectual historian. And in its generous dedication to Barbara Shapiro, this book links the careers of two of the Pacific Coast Conference’s most steadfast supporters.
2012 Book prize description

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