Once on the wings of the American political stage, conservatism now plays a leading role in public life, thanks largely to the dynamic legacy of Ronald Reagan. But despite conservatism s emergence as a powerful political force in the last several decades, misunderstandings abound about its meaning and nature economically, internationally, philosophically, politically, religiously, and socially. In examining these misunderstandings, "The Future of American Conservatism: Consensus and Conflict in the Post-Reagan Era "reveals the forces that unite, and the tensions that divide, conservatives today.Edited by noted Reagan scholar Charles W. Dunn, this collection casts conservatism as a collage of complexity that defies easy characterization. Although it is commonly considered an ideology, many of conservatism s foremost intellectuals dispute this notion. Although it is thought to embody a standard set of principles, its principles frequently conflict. Although many leading intellectuals, liberal and conservative, believe that conservatism lacks a significant tradition in America, it has contributed more to American life than the credit lines indicate. And although it is usually thought to create homogeneity among its adherents, in truth conservatism is marked by a great deal of heterogeneity in both its adherents and its ideas.In fact, conservatism s complexity may well be its strength or so the essays gathered here suggest. In painting a bright picture of the prospects for conservatives, "The Future of American Conservatism "is a timely and thought-provoking volume."