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Publisher's Summary

What does it mean to be a conservative in an age so sceptical of conservatism? How can we live in the presence of our 'canonized forefathers' at a time when their cultural, religious and political bequest is so routinely rejected? With soft left-liberalism as the dominant force in Western politics, what can conservatives now contribute to public debate that will not be dismissed as pure nostalgia?

In this highly personal and witty book, renowned philosopher Roger Scruton explains how to live as a conservative in spite of the pressures to exist otherwise. Drawing on his own experience as a counter-cultural presence in public life, Scruton argues that while humanity might survive in the absence of the conservative outlook, it certainly won't flourish.

How to Be a Conservative is not only a blueprint for modern conservatism. It is a heartfelt appeal on behalf of old fashioned decencies and values, which are the bedrock of our weakened, but still enduring civilization.

©2014 Roger Scruton (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What listeners say about How to Be a Conservative

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Refreshingly Enlightening

If you are interested in politics beyond watching the news or reading the paper, this book with worth a listen. His adroit definitions and appropriate coverage of the key points of political thought add clarity to a typically muddled group of ideas. His critique of the modern right wing is eye opening and revealing. This book has really opened my mind and I hope it opens yours.

13 people found this helpful

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Coherent explanation of true conservatism

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

It is work to be a conservative. Scruton does some of the work by sharing thoughtful explanations of what conservatism is. His work will help me articulate my experience as a conservative.

Which scene was your favorite?

A conservative values what previous generations handed down to the living generation and tries to live in a way that leaves the next generation with an inheritance rather than a debt.

6 people found this helpful

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Brilliant

I thought more profoundly about society and my place in it during these few hours than I did during the entire 6 years of my university miseducation.

5 people found this helpful

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RIP Sir Roger Scruton

Conservative philosopher Roger Scruton died of cancer earlier today (January 12, 2020) at age 75. Likely the best known and most important conservative intellectual of our time Sir Roger leaves behind a wealth of publications. I selected HOW TO BE A CONSERVATIVE randomly. It is a marvelous book. Released in 2014 it defines what conservatism is compellingly. I prefer Fools, Frauds and Firebrands which is his take down of modern leftists. Being a classical liberal I've never considered myself a conservative but no matter one's political philosophy reading Scruton is always a delight.

12 people found this helpful

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Conservatism is more than economic theory

Very thought provoking about the essence of conservative thought and action. Scruton goes beyond economic and political theory to examine the cultural aspects of conservatism.

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Review of reading

Very clearly read. One comment though: it is important for listening comprehension to include sufficient pauses at ends of sections and after headings.

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Good book

Good subjects including socialism/communism vs. capitalism, Sharia vs. democracy, crony capitalism vs. free market capitalism.

3 people found this helpful

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Scruton take on conservatism

This is a survey of Dr. Scruton’s view on politics, history, society, culture, etc. Expansive and intricate and deep. He covers all the important controversies of the day while outlining his general conservative perspective. I enjoyed the audible so much I am going to purchase the book.

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Excellent journey through conservatism

This was the first book by Sir Roger Scruton I purchased. It is undeniably perennial as Scruton dives long into history, philosophy, politics, economics, religion, art, architecture, conservation and more to show us just how rich and long a history we have as a people and why it's worth preserving. Scruton shows us how modern definitions of conservatism and liberalism sadly miss the mark and how we ought to see them in their original form in order to value and embody them better. I will be buying paper copies from now on as there was too much I wanted to quote and nothing but audio to quote it from.

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A mesmerizing book

This book is a guide for a good sense. After read it, many start to make sense.

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  • Seayeaitch
  • 07-03-18

Superb, it will teach you how to listen.

Whatever you think your political leanings are, put them to one side and with an open mind listen to this treasure of thought and the arguments that are derived and put for the listener to consider. At times it is heavy going and I found my self going back to get a better understanding. A great listen that should be read or listened to by all that want to have a better understanding . Roger Scruton is a man and product of our time, compellingly brilliant.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Pen Name
  • 01-04-19

excellent book

we'll put together, very interesting and particularly compelling. there is a lot to think about in just this one book. great read.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Matthew of Melk
  • 09-07-15

There's still some sanity in the world ...

This is a timely and moving account of why Conservatism is both reasonable and humane. Roger Scruton takes a clear-eyed look at some very big issues that affect all our lives - the EU, immigration, the environment, human rights, religion etc. Please read this book.

18 people found this helpful

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  • gearoid amazon
  • 05-15-20

Ana spéisiúl

ceapaim go bhfuil an teideal beagánín míthreorach. Phlé an t-údar coincheap tábhactach ach nuair labhraíonn sé faoi Rawls, Hagel, Marx, etc, tá ort stopigí chun tagairt Is maith liom an leabhar, agus léfaidh mé arís agus arís eile é.

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  • Chris Casey
  • 03-13-20

Let there be light!

after listening to this I think most Brits are essentially conservatives..helpful and clear, well read

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  • Dave D
  • 12-26-19

Superb insights for our times

Roger Scruton delivers deeply thought through responses to the major challenges of our time with the integrity and erudition of a mature philosopher. He provides a very refreshing perspective for anyone troubled by the rise of identity politics and the shallow depth of political debate that has become the norm. The performance is good. I dropped a star because I prefer to hear the author narrating.

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  • Luis Azevedo
  • 11-23-20

Interesting take on conservativism

Much misunderstood or misinterpreted, being a conservative is not being stubborn to change and oppressive to minorities as is so pushed by many (idealistic liberal students are a group I’ve disagreed with on this many times). This is a fantastic explanation of what beliefs and political stances make up being a conservative

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  • Tim Wordsworth
  • 09-14-20

Don't judge this book by its cover

This is the first of Roger Scruton's books I have listened to. There is much more to the book than I had anticipated. Scruton sets out the depths to which conservatism penetrates our society, our culture and our institutions. It is a tour-de-force of a brilliant mind making itself fully accessible to mere mortals. Conservatism is not what I thought it was. It is much more personal and all encompassing than politics or public discourse. Scruton expertly guides the reader to illustrate the breadth of the conservative world view and makes good arguments for its propagation in an uncertain world. How To Be A Conservative is a must read for anyone wanting a deeper understanding or our society and themselves.

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  • Matthew Johnson (Matt Saxx)
  • 03-21-20

An education

This was an excellent read. His language and references are so highbrow, that I constantly had to to look things up! This heavy topic is interspersed with humor and cynicism. Scruton breaks the book down in to analysis of nationalism, socialism, capitalism, liberalism, multiculturalism, environmentalism, internationalism and conservatism. He looks at the modern conservative in today’s materialistic society amidst the wave of ‘liberalism’ sweeping the nation. The most telling quote is below: “But many who call themselves liberal today have little understanding of what that virtue really is. Toleration does not mean renouncing all opinions that others might find offensive. It does not mean an easy-going relativism or a belief that ‘anything goes’. On the contrary, it means accepting the rights of others to think and act in ways of which you disapprove.”