The Public Interest

Conservatives and neoconservatives

Adam Wolfson

Winter 2004

NEOCONSERVATISM has become the topic of the day. But does neoconservatism really exist, and if so what is it? What exactly is “new” in neoconservatism, and how does it differ from other strands of conservative thought in America? And finally, what kind of political influence does neoconservatism wield today? Of course, it is this last question that is nowadays on everyone’s mind. Yet one can hardly begin to weigh the influence of neoconservatism on the Bush White House without first reaching some understanding of what it is, and how it differs from the old conservatism.

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