ABOUT Look Homeward, America: In Search of Reactionary Radicals and Front-Porch Anarchists (ISI/2006)

Editors’ Choice Award, American Library Association, for “these smart, frequently funny forays down American byways.”

“It’s un-put-down-able, probably the best read I’ve had since The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot by the great Russell Kirk.”—The Western Confucian

“Kauffman is…a supremely gifted writer who…conjures up some of the funniest and most erudite copy on either side of the Atlantic.”—Robert Cheeks, California Literary Review “Bill Kauffman is the finest literary stylist writing within the broad twenty-first-century conservative dispensation and among the keenest minds in contemporary American letters. Sometimes an agrarian libertarian, on other occasions a populist or a ‘peace-and-love’ paleoconservative, Kauffman defies the standard categories. Above all, he is—like Russell Kirk—a localist, rooted in his beloved (if not always lovely) Batavia, New York, region. Look Homeward, America celebrates the ‘insubordinate Americans’ who cherish their families, their neighborhoods, and their liberties and who distrust the cant pouring out of Washington, D.C. With felicitous ease, the volume moves from side-splitting humor to profound insight to wise prescription. In its grand affirmation of the true American spirit, Look Homeward, America will challenge, dazzle, and delight the reader.”—Allan Carlson

“Bill Kauffman is one of America’s funniest and wisest writers. Not only can he make anarchism seem lovable, he forces you to reassess everything you believe about American politics and culture. He might even make you change your life. Look Homeward, America is a book whose thesis I completely disagree with—and I loved every page of it. To read Bill Kauffman is like arguing with your best and smartest friend.”—Tom Bissell

“Bill Kauffman is an impeccably honest, witty, insightful observer of American politics and culture who is committed to that which is small, local, and nonviolent. Although he has been characterized as a populist, an agrarian libertarian, and a paleo conservative, Kauffman is above all his own man. With many political writers you can figure out who the good guys are and who the bad guys are just by looking at the title of the piece. Not so with Kauffman. You’ve got to read the entire piece.”—Thomas Naylor, Vermont Commons

“There may have been better books than Look Homeward, America: In Search of Reactionary Radicals and Front-Porch Anarchists, published in 2006, but I didn’t read them. In Look Homeward, Kauffman celebrates those uniquely American radicals who make this the country what it is, and does it with humor, grace and keen perception…Whatever your ideology, Bill Kauffman’s words will touch your soul and make you long for his America.”— Doug French, LewRockwell.com

More about

“Kauffman is an exuberant guide on this joyous head-trip across the country roads of American politics and culture, and along the way everything you thought you knew about what it means to be a patriot, a conservative, or a Christian will be turned upside-down and inside-out. And as with travel on a country lane, the ride is slow, the details are savored, the conversation is a delight, and the destination is not the fruitless, rootless, nowhereness of the freeway (“I’m outta here!”), but instead the welcome embrace of a large front porch and a place called home.”–Caleb Stegall, The Intercollegiate Review

“There is scarcely a page without a startling phrase, an ‘aha!’ moment, or a good laugh (or, I am embarrassed to report, an unfamiliar word.)…But far beyond the stinging zingers, this is a book of uncommon wisdom, delighting in what is best in the sometimes eccentric American tradition. I can honestly say that this book has inspired me more than any in recent memory…this book is to be received with gratitude, a gift if not from On High, at least from Batavia, New York, which if I am not mistaken is not far from Bedford Falls.”—Daniel Nichols, Caelum et Terra

“lively, literate, and thought-provoking ramble through the woodland paths and flower strewn dales of the Old Republic.”—John McClaughry, Reason

“Kauffman’s marvelous trick of praising to the skies and then noting shortcomings and even vices increases the fascination of his remarks on such defenders of ‘family, community, [and] local self-rule’ as Wendell Berry, Grant Wood, Carolyn Chute, Millard Fillmore…More marvelous is that Kauffman, who freely injects himself into his prose, treats himself the same way; he vaunts his stance on something and then acknowledges his contradictions on the same matter. If figures he considers overrated don’t get the same treatment, well, that helps keep things snappy. His writing persona couldn’t be more appealing.”—Ray Olson, Booklist

“Kauffman combines an acerbic wit with an encyclopedic knowledge of ignored American characters to create enchanting allusions and flat-out rants that may remind readers of comedian Dennis Miller. The crucial difference being that unlike Miller, Kauffman has a point.”–Dr. Jason R. Edwards, The Center for Vision and Values at Grove City College

“This particular cynical idealist (or should that be idealistic cynic?) is the real deal when it comes to actually living the small-town life and celebrating its many virtues. As such, he is also an American treasure—a more than occasionally maddening treasure, but a treasure nonetheless.”— John C. Chalberg, Crisis

“tonic for a soul weary of the philistine populism and straitjacketed know-nothingness that dominates mainstream conservatism today. If you are the kind of conservative who despairs over the chain-store, geography-of-nowhere, slob-in-the-grey-velour-sweatsuit consumerist crapulence that is devouring the American cultural landscape like kudzu—well, Bill Kauffman is your man.”— Rod Dreher, The American Conservative

“a must-read for everyone seeking a deeper understanding of the American tradition, but especially for conservatives.”—University Bookman

“Bill Kauffman may be this country’s most dependably amusing critic of contemporary political culture…In this celebration of what Kauffman calls America’s ‘traditionalist rebels,’ passages of considerable eloquence are all the more arresting precisely because they appear in a work otherwise characterized by such unrestrained jollity.”— Alan Pell Crawford, Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Bill Kauffman is a writer who defies categorization, which is only appropriate because people who defy categorization happens to be his favorite subject: his latest book, Look Homeward, America… illustrates how the tired old labels of ‘left’ and ‘right’ no longer seem to apply.”— Justin Raimondo, Antiwar.com

“[T]his book has a Whitmanesque quality about it: it is a song to liberty, truth, goodness, and beauty, to family and community, to hearth and home, to farm and small town. It’s a call to those of similar principles to keep on keeping on, and bring America home again.”–Geoffrey Gneuhs, The Catholic Worker

More about Look Homeward America: In Search of Reactionary Radicals, by Bill Kauffman

This entry was posted in Reviews. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.