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Publisher's Summary

In a bold act of conscience, Republican Senator Jeff Flake takes his party to task for embracing nationalism, populism, xenophobia, and the anomalous Trump presidency. The book is an urgent call for a return to bedrock conservative principle and a cry to once again put country before party.

Dear Listener,

I am a conservative.

I believe that there are limits to what government can and should do, that there are some problems that government cannot solve, and that human initiative is best when left unfettered, free from government interference or coercion. I believe that these ideas, tested by time, offer the most freedom and best outcomes in the lives of the most people.

But today, the American conservative movement has lost its way. Given the state of our politics, it is no exaggeration to say that this is an urgent matter.

The Republican party used to play to a broader audience, one that demanded that we accomplish something. But in this era of dysfunction, our primary accomplishment has been constructing the argument that we're not to blame. We have decided that it is better to build and maintain a majority by using the levers of power rather than the art of persuasion and the battle of ideas. We've decided that putting party over country is okay. There are many on both sides of the aisle who think this a good model on which to build a political career - destroying, not building.

And all the while, our country burns, our institutions are undermined, and our values are compromised. We have become so estranged from our principles that we no longer know what principle is.

America is not just a collection of transactions. America is also a collection of ideas and values. And these are our values. These are our principles. They are not subject to change, owing to political fashion or cult of personality. I believe that we desperately need to get back to the rigorous, fact-based arguments that made us conservatives in the first place. We need to realize that the stakes are simply too high to remain silent and fall in line.

That is why I have written this book and am taking this stand.

- Jeff Flake

©2017 Jeff Flake (P)2017 Random House Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • TLN
  • Willamette Valley, Oregon
  • 08-04-17

Liberal Gives Flake 5 Stars

I am a liberal. I do not agree with Jeff Flake's economic philosophies and I am not a fan of Barry Goldwater, but Flake's championship of the Constitution, the rule of law, common decency, and fair play is inspiring.

Flake actually makes me believe bi-partisanship is not an impossible goal. He also humanizes conservatives for me in a way I much needed. Flake's voice is sincere, kind, intelligent, and he offers an argument for integrity that is most refreshing in our current political climate.

Critics from the Right call him a traitor for saying the Emperor has no clothes, critics from the Left call his effort hollow because he is not doing enough to stand up to the naked Emperor. I say this book is a BEGINNING, and it is a breath of fresh air in an overheated country.

23 of 25 people found this review helpful

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Worthy of your time be you conservative or not

What made the experience of listening to Conscience of a Conservative the most enjoyable?

Good narrator, concise verbiage, clean production.

What did you like best about this story?

I think that Flake honestly provides an assessment of his experience in congress and the senate that gives the public another perspective into how we got where we are right now. He doesn't paint himself as being blameless, or claim to have the power to change the situation easily. He shares a common sense approach for all Americans, founded by his conservative values. I lean liberal but believe Flake's desire is to serve all Americans and is worthy of being heard.

What does Milton Jeffers and Jeff Flake - preface bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I might be irritated if another narrator was not as good.

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

No, I appreciated that it seemed to be a calm assessment of one person's perspective.

Any additional comments?

I didn't find it preachy.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Lazaro
  • cutler bay, FL, United States
  • 08-20-17

Courageous

A very refreshing book. Loved the candor and the courage it took to stand up for one's values.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Makes me proud to be from Arizona

This straight talk and reality check from a fellow conservative is a timely and desperately needed breath of fresh air, and one for which I have been yearning in this disorienting season of Alice in Wonderland American politics where honor and truth and virtue and principle have all been inverted, and the opposite of these tolerated, accepted and even promulgated by too many of America's leaders who know better. This work is the first clarion call to America to return to her first and best principles. It makes me proud to be represented by Arizona's senators - two courageous standouts in America's government today.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A message for every American!

The courageous spirit to stand for what is right and true is still alive. Thank you Jeff for your decency and determination to stand for what IS right.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A must read regardless of your political affiliation.

When historians begin to recount those folks who have stood up and chosen country over party. I have no doubt they will be pointing to this book as it's beginning.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Teresa
  • Lakebay, WA, United States
  • 08-03-17

What Is Truth

I am like halfway through this and I have to say I am impressed. If you are Republican, you will appreciate his call to return to conservative values. If you are a democrat, you will acknowledge that traditional conservatives are not the boogie man.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Spot on, on nearly everything

In a crazy political time, Senator Flake recalibrates conservatism to something palatable by both parties.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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A Seminal Work

Serious, thoughtful, and honest. A beacon for someone seeking to gain an historical perspective on the unhinged behavior of this administration, and an understanding of its attraction for a portion of the electorate.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Great Words to Live By

An amazing book, and proud to have Senator Flake representing me and all voters of Arizona. We may have differences, yet must work to find common paths to solve issues. The message from book is very true and important today. Will read it again.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful