Nonfiction Forum: Sam Tanenhaus

Sam Tanenhaus will discuss his new book, The Death of Conservatism. For 75 years, Tanenhaus argues, the right has been split into two factions: consensus-driven realists, who believe in the virtue of government and its power to adjust to changing conditions, and movement revanchists, who distrust government and society and often find themselves at war with America itself. Eventually, Tanenhaus writes, the revanchists prevailed, and their success resulted in todays decadent movement conservatism, a defunct ideology that is profoundly and defiantly unconservative—in its arguments and ideas, its tactics and strategies, above all in its vision. Since 2004, Tanenhaus has been the senior editor of the New York Times Book Review. He was an assistant editor at the New York Times from 1997 to 1999 and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair from 1999 until 2004. His 1997 biography of Whittaker Chambers won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Biography. The discussion will be moderated by Bruce Handy, a deputy editor at Vanity Fair. Handy joined the magazine as a senior articles editor in April 1999. Earlier he was a senior editor and writer at Time, where he wrote a column on society and popular culture for five years. Handy began his career as a writer and editor at Spy magazine in 1987; his article A Spy Guide to Postmodern Everything was nominated for a National Magazine Award in 1989. In 1993, he joined the writing team of Saturday Night Live for one season, during which they were nominated for an Emmy. His articles have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the New York Times Book Review, Rolling Stone, Vogue, and the New Yorker. Sponsored by the New School Writing Program.

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