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Publisher's Summary

The prominent economist and president of the American Enterprise Institute - the leading intellectual think tank on the right - offers a bold new vision for conservatism as a movement for social and economic justice.

In The Conservative Heart, Arthur C. Brooks contends that after years of focusing on economic growth and traditional social values, it is time for a new kind of conservatism - one that helps the vulnerable without mortgaging our children's future. In Brooks' daring vision, this conservative movement fights poverty, promotes equal opportunity, celebrates earned success, and values spiritual enlightenment. It is an inclusive movement with a positive agenda to help people lead happier, more hopeful, and more satisfied lives.

One of the country's leading scholars and policy thinkers, Brooks has considered these issues for decades. Drawing on years of research on the sources of happiness, he asserts that what people most need are four "institutions of meaning" - faith, family, community, and meaningful work. These are not only the foundations of personal well-being but also the necessary means for building a better nation.

Combining reporting, original research, and case studies, and free of vituperative politics, The Conservative Heart is an intelligent and compelling manifesto for renewal. Clear, well reasoned, and accessible, it is a welcome new strategy for disconsolate conservatives looking for fresh, actionable ideas to address the serious problems confronting us today and to reclaim our future, and it is for politically independent citizens who believe that neither political party addresses their needs or concerns.

©2015 Arthur C. Brooks (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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Understand how to win as a Conservative

Arthur Brooks elucidates, the qualities of a true conservative, how to communicate our conservative message, and why and how Democrats often best us at the messaging game. Well thought out, and delivered. Very entertaining, informative, erudite, and never dull, or uninteresting!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Outstanding recitation of conservatism!

If you want to know what conservatism is and what motivates conservatives, this is the book you should start with.

All candidates for office should be STUDYING this book. It's a recipe for American success, while making sure that none get left behind. It represents the spirit of America and the principles upon which it was founded.

It points the way to solving so many of the ills that currently plague us. These include the so-called "entitlements." We need to have the safety net but we need to be smarter about how we implement it. We will save those programs and reduce spending if we do it right. Because people want to work and work is one of the pillars of happiness. Brooks illustrates that with many examples and backs it up academic studies.

It was an eye-opener for me because it showed me that I need to quickly articulate my positions in terms that people connect with and can understand. It showed me that, instead of mocking and ridiculing the Social Justice Warriors (SWJs), that I should BE one! I now realize what true social justice means instead of the meaning that has been twisted and perverted by too many in America today.

It's about head and sprit and yes, HEART. The Conservative Heart. And it's really a big part of my personal makeup. If you want to be a better conservative, or just want to understand conservatives, please read this book.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Great book, great message

A great message of the benefits of conservative principles for all classes of people in the US and globally. Refreshing to read fact-based policy suggestions without the divisive nonsense that permeates the debates and political infighting. I recommended this to my friend s and young people as well.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Fabulous!

If you are a conservative, you likely have much to learn about how to make what you believe work to the advantage of the less fortunate among us. This short but powerful discussion can help you help others as well as if not better than any other expression of conservative thought.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Refreshing!

I really enjoyed this book! Well researched, but straightforward and easy to understand as well! I just finished reading it & I'm about to read it again.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Tibber
  • Denver, CO United States
  • 04-09-17

Amazing

Any additional comments?

Citing many studies, the author gives us good reason to believe more income does not always bring more happiness.

The book then looks at a private charity program that selects released prison inmates and trains them in vocations and gets them jobs. The program sounds good, according to the book recidivism is 60% less in those selected for the program. It then claims government should do the same for the poor. To my knowledge conservatives have always opposed spending this kind of money on programs to help the poor.

The next part of the book is dedicated to the idea that the US should embrace an Indian method of labor and distance ourselves from "grandmother Europe" . This segment is teaming with anecdotes and the few studies cited seldom seem apropos.

Then there are some claims that the minimum wage is harmful eluding to, but not citing studies. The main claim is that a raising minimum wage will make the worst workers' unemployment rate go up. No consideration is given for effects on other groups of people, and an anecdote is given that a fast food worker can go from minimum wage entry to a living wage in 5 years; there was no discussion about how eliminating the minimum wage might impact this job nor any explanation of what constitutes that living wage.

The book ends with an entreaty to conservatives to claim compassion in their stances and engage with everyone and not to restrict themselves to conservative talking points.

The book claims to be amenable to non-conservatives, but I have some issues with that idea. Throughout the book it caricatures liberals including the claim that liberals only care about outcomes being equal no matter the effort. It also blames the rise in income inequality on Obama based only on the rise happening during his tenure without any acknowledgment that most of the levers of power were controlled by Republicans during that time nor any acknowledgement that the trend started before he took office. It also claims that Obama constantly belittled conservatives and blamed opposition on racism, this simply does not fit my experience.

I liked the general positive tone of this book, but take exception to the tactics of defining what your opponents believe and claiming that the current state is exactly what opponents wanted. It makes your arguments easier to make but that straw man is not a liberal.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Critical for our time to apply this message

Succinctly written, challenging in application, very insightful and it resonates with any person concerned about our neighbors and our country as a whole.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A Must Read for Conservatives AND Liberals

This books is a must read for Liberals and Conservatives. Arthur Brooks accurately articulates the side of conservatism that has simultaneously been missing from public debate for the last 10 years AND is the most important theory and cornerstone of the conservative mind.

Finally a conservative point of view that is well researched, written and positioned without being dismissive of liberal views.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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A must-have guide for Conservatives!

A superb defense of conservatism that offers a path toward winning.
Intelligent, well reasoned, & inspiring!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Anecdotes and rhetoric

There isn't much to this book. It's polemical, anecdotal, and emotional. He believes conservatives have the answer, liberals don't, and if conservatives would just change the way they talk they would win. Not very compelling.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful