We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
The Conservative Tradition | [The Great Courses]

The Conservative Tradition

A thorough understanding of Conservatism's lineage, principles, and impact on history is essential to making sense of the 21st-century political dialogue-a dialogue that consumes the television you watch, the newspapers you read, and the radio you listen to.No matter where you place yourself on the ideological spectrum, these 36 lectures will intrigue you, engage you, and maybe even provoke you to think about this political philosophy in an entirely new way.
Regular Price:$41.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

A thorough understanding of Conservatism's lineage, principles, and impact on history is essential to making sense of the 21st-century political dialogue-a dialogue that consumes the television you watch, the newspapers you read, and the radio you listen to.

No matter where you place yourself on the ideological spectrum, these 36 lectures will intrigue you, engage you, and maybe even provoke you to think about this political philosophy in an entirely new way.

In crafting his exploration of just why this has happened, Professor Allitt has specifically designed his lectures to be objective, neutral, and intellectually satisfying for every viewer and listener - whatever their ideological outlook. Using an easygoing and engaging style, these lectures show you how Anglo-American Conservatism developed and evolved in both Great Britain and the United States; how traditional Conservatism produced evolutionary variants like Neoconservatism and Libertarianism; and the provocative ways in which Conservatism has interacted with differing political philosophies. Following the fascinating history of Conservatism, you'll also meet the widest possible range of thinkers and practitioners behind the Conservative tradition, including John Stuart Mill, Ayn Rand, Francis Schaeffer, Adam Smith, Henry Adams, Alexander Hamilton, William Pitt the Younger, Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, H.L. Mencken, William F. Buckley Jr., Ludwig von Mises, and Friedrich von Hayek.Whether you consider yourself a Liberal or a Conservative-or something in between-these lectures can make you a more effective and informed citizen, armed with a sharpened understanding of the ways in which this philosophy has influenced events around the world.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.


©2009 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2009 The Great Courses

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (53 )
5 star
 (34)
4 star
 (17)
3 star
 (2)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Overall
4.6 (47 )
5 star
 (31)
4 star
 (14)
3 star
 (2)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Story
4.7 (47 )
5 star
 (35)
4 star
 (10)
3 star
 (2)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Quaker Philadelphia 07-12-14
    Quaker Philadelphia 07-12-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    234
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    19
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    15
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Another gem by Prof. Allitt & The Great Courses"
    Would you listen to The Conservative Tradition again? Why?

    The course attempts to define conservatism and then track its evolution through the ages in both the U.K. and the U.S.. One learns how the philosophies have evolved and in some cases taken divergent paths based on the impact of the U.S. civil war, the world wars, industrialization, the rise and fall of communism, etc. It's a fascinating journey that attempts to explain why, for example, "conservatives" in the U.S. would be anti-gun control and anti-socialized medicine, while "conservatives" in the U.K. would be supportive of such measures.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Many lessons stick with me, but I was particularly struck by the discussions of U.S. revolutionary era and civil war-era politics, where in each case, we had two sides that each considered themselves perservers of conservative tradition. In the case of the U.S. revolution, the Tories wanted to remain loyal to the King, yet the separatists felt they were fighting to preserve English republican traditions that the King had abandoned. In the civil war, both the North and the South were fighting to preserve their own definitions of a traditional way of life and governance. If you are somebody who puzzles over whether the founders of our country would consider themselves conservative today, you'll love this course, and perhaps be frustrated by the ambiguities!


    What about Professor Patrick N. Allitt’s performance did you like?

    This was my 3rd course from Professor Allitt, so obviously I'm a fan. It's a given that the topic is, shall we say, politically loaded, but I trusted that Professor Allitt would do his best to approach the topic as a historian, and not with any idiological point of view. I dare say after listening to it that the course is likely to frustrate anybody with a strong-leaning political agenda (in either direction), which is to say that Professor Allitt succeeds!


    Any additional comments?

    I may be just biased myself, but as the course approached the modern era, it appeared to me that Professor Allitt couldn't help but reveal his biases, as his descriptions of the collapse of the Soviet Union, the "Reagan Revolution," Margaret Thatcher, and particularly the abortion issue felt somewhat one-sided and yes, conservative. It follows that anybody who would teach a course called "Conservative Tradition" is likely to be an admirer of the that tradition, so consider yourself warned as the final lectures approach, but don't shy away because of it. The course succeeds as both an entertaining listen and a historical study filled with examples of the conflicts, struggles, complexities, and changing definitions of conservatism.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas H. Kregel Minnesota 03-31-14
    Thomas H. Kregel Minnesota 03-31-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    41
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    81
    25
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Superb - It filled in so many gaps in my understan"
    Would you listen to The Conservative Tradition again? Why?

    Yes. I have already listed to it twice and will again. I do listen at 1.5x speed since most lectures are somewhat slow of speech. My comprehension went way up when I did not have to wait as long for completion of an idea. I actually listened to a major part at 2x but I may be A.D.D.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    Coming from a center-left general outlook I wanted to understand many of the contradictions (hypocrisy?) of conservative thought. Professor Allitt expanded the various threads in conservative thought and helped me see how many of these branches are diametrically opposed to each other. I was not being fair by forcing all these individual threads into a single bucket. It was not hypocrisy I was seeing but it was my own prejudice. Now when I listen to conservatives I try to understand what branch this person represents and I often find some common ground. Excellent work Dr. Allitt!


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Not applicable. Non-fiction.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Would be a documentary not a film.


    Any additional comments?

    I have done a lot of teaching company lecture series, this is one of the best!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Telfair Shepherdstown, WV, United States 03-30-15
    C. Telfair Shepherdstown, WV, United States 03-30-15

    Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1753
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    275
    258
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    291
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "For Every Voter; Right, Left or Center!"

    A long course, this is absolutely worth every moment spent. In fact, the variety and amount of content warrant a second listen to the entire 18 hours or so.

    The first two-thirds of the sessions contain a real wealth of detail and analysis of the backgrounds and theories of conservative leaders, writers and philosophers in the English and American traditions. These lectures are a very valuable and, it seems to me, objective education.

    It's hard to listen to the last third of the lectures without some sort of bias, whatever your political persuasion, as most of the content here is too recent for real historical perspective. It certainly is enlightening, however, for any listener who has lived through, studied, or heard about the Thatcher and Reagan years, the religious right and/or the neo-conservatives. So much becomes a lot clearer.

    It amazes me that I came out of this, as I went in, with no really good guess about the political leaning of Professor Patrick N. Allitt! He deserves great credit for that, and for his exhaustive command of and enthusiasm for the subject. Next, I'd like to hear his 18 hours on Liberalism!

    Another complete winner from The Great Courses.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert LOS ANGELES, CA, United States 01-01-14
    Robert LOS ANGELES, CA, United States 01-01-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "you don't need to be a conservative to enjoy."
    Where does The Conservative Tradition rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I found this very interesting, going in I knew very little about conservatism or it's founding ideas as a political philosophy. The course goes into detail from it's history in the UK to the States and around the world. very comprehensive.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    the amount of information covered is very impressive.


    Have you listened to any of Professor Patrick N. Allitt’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Very entertaining Professor.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    the links between the US and UK


    Any additional comments?

    if you are interested in politics, even if your viewpoint is not necessarily conservative - check it out.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dulce USA 06-08-14
    Dulce USA 06-08-14 Member Since 2015

    Avid reader until vision impairment set in. Now an avid listener!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    69
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    94
    24
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    8
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Even handed and absorbing overview"
    What made the experience of listening to The Conservative Tradition the most enjoyable?

    Prof. Allitt's rare talents as scholar and teacher are in full display. He is a charming lecturer, full of passion for his subject and flashes of humor. His erudition is no less obvious than his ability to discuss the subject matter in a way that will be comprehensible to everyone. I love his practice (throughout all his series) of illustrating major points with quotations from primary sources. He previews each lecture in a few sentences before he starts, which gives the listener a mental outline to follow. He is organized and as thorough as one could be in a survey course.


    What did you like best about this story?

    As an "old school" libertarian myself, I appreciated Prof. Allitt's even handed treatment of the varieties of American conservatism, from the excesses of Ayn Rand and the Moral Majority to the more tempered neo-conservatism of Buckley and Podhoretz. He is never condescending to his subjects, which must have been a temptation at times. His review of Thatcher's administration was eye opening; my prior knowledge of most of the history really benefited from the nuance Prof. Allitt contributed.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I loved the lectures about Thatcher. She saved the British economy with a few steely common sense laissez faire moves, which were despised in the short term but which were beneficial in the long term.


    If you could give The Conservative Tradition a new subtitle, what would it be?

    The Anglo-American drive to let common sense prevail. LOL!


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ted Smith Salt Lake City 07-27-13
    Ted Smith Salt Lake City 07-27-13 Member Since 2012

    Reviewer from Utah

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Superb in All Respects"
    Where does The Conservative Tradition rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top ten percent


    What did you like best about this story?

    Professor Allitt knows his subject, which is highly compelling. Conservatism has a strong philosophical core, which is well-presented here.


    What does Professor Patrick N. Allitt bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Beautiful English accent combined with deep understanding of America.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    HIghly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bernard 04-23-15
    Bernard 04-23-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "My only complaint is that it wasn't long enough"
    What did you love best about The Conservative Tradition?

    It gave a pretty detailed history of conservatism and it roots. It gives you insights on conservatism in other countries which I thought was very fascinating.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    N/A


    What does Professor Patrick N. Allitt bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His political leanings I guess lol. He doesn't reveal which leanings he has but, I suspect he is either a conservative or centrist.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me want to look more into conservatism.


    Any additional comments?

    I do not belong to the left or the right or even center for that matter. I'm kind of just me here with no particular ideology. With that being said, I really enjoyed listening to lectures. I have loaded up my wish list with some other conservative books and will continue to look into conservatism a little further.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan ARLINGTON, VA, United States 09-26-13
    Jonathan ARLINGTON, VA, United States 09-26-13 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An Excellent Historical Look at Conservatism"
    Would you listen to The Conservative Tradition again? Why?

    I would listen to this audio book again, but I would skip through certain chapters. Professor Allitt gives a very in depth history of the political tradition. He covers a great deal of British conservatism, which I didn't find as relevant or interesting if you have no connection to the UK. It was still a great lesson.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Femke
    Arnhem, Netherlands
    8/6/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The history of British and American conservatism"

    An interesting and detailed account of British and American Conservatism - narrated from a (moderate) Conservative point of view.

    As a non-Conservative I profoundly disagreed with a lot of the conservative arguments and points of view that were discussed - but the professor's likable manner and great story telling skills helped me get through all the lectures.

    The lectures only cover the history of conservatism in Britain and the USA.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Chris
    1/7/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A History of Conservatism"

    I bought this title hoping to understand the political philosophy of conservatives in the UK, and although the history of conservatism in the UK and the US is examined in detail in this course, I found the philosophical discussions of ideas and concepts to be lacking. Although the Prof. does take some lectures to entirely devote some time to discussion of specific debates and books written, it does get rather lost amidst a sea of 'he said, she said' discussions of who was on who's team at what point.

    If you want to know who were the main proponents of a kind of conservatism, and what specific conservative leaders believed then this is a good listen. If you want to understand the philosophical underpinnings of any kind of conservatism, I would go elsewhere.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.