Anderson, Brian C. 1961–
Anderson, Brian C. 1961–
PERSONAL: Born 1961; married; children: two sons. Education: Boston College, B.A., M.A.; University of Ottawa, Ph.D.
ADDRESSES: Home—Westchester County, NY. Office—Manhattan Institute, City Journal, 52 Vanderbilt Ave., New York, NY 10017.
CAREER: Writer, editor, and scholar.
American Enterprise Institute, Washington, DC, research associate in social and political studies; Crisis, literary editor; Manhattan Institute (think tank), New York, NY, scholar and senior editor of quarterly periodical City Journal.
(Editor) The Pope in America, Crisis Books (Notre Dame, IN), 1996.
Raymond Aron: The Recovery of the Political, Rowman & Littlefield (Lanham, MD), 1997.
(Editor) Michael Novak, On Cultivating Liberty, Rowman & Littlefield (Lanham, MD), 1999.
South Park Conservatives: The Revolt against Liberal Media Bias, Regnery (Washington, DC), 2005.
Contributor to First Things, Public Interest, Wilson Quarterly, New York Post, New York Daily News, New York Sun, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Times. Author of introduction, with Daniel Mahoney, to Thinking Politically, English-language translation of Le Spectateur Engage by Raymond Aron. Co-editor of "Aron Project" series, Transaction Publishers, and "Religion, Society, and Politics in the New Millennium" series, Lexington Publishers.
SIDELIGHTS: Brian C. Anderson has long been active in conservative-leaning intellectual circles. He has become well known to many in that milieu as the senior editor of City Journal, a New York-based quarterly magazine that focuses on urban policy issues. Anderson's best-known book, South Park Conservatives: The Revolt against Liberal Media Bias, is an expanded version of an article titled "We're Not Losing the Culture Wars Anymore," which Anderson wrote for City Journal in 2003. The article was described on the Brothers Judd Web site as "one of the best pieces of recent years on the rise of a conservative media counter-culture."
The phrase "South Park Republican" originated with Andrew Sullivan, a selectively conservative blogger who used the term to describe people similar to himself: not stereotypical, straight-laced conservatives, but people who have a great disdain for modern liberalism. The moniker refers to a popular animated television series for adults, South Park, that was known for tackling serious political issues with aggressively non-politically correct humor. In South Park Conservatives Anderson examines the rise of television programs such as South Park and other media with an anti-liberal bent, including Fox News; Regnery, a publishing house that focuses on books by conservative authors; popular right-wing radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh; programs hosted by comedians Dennis Miller and Colin Quinn; and the well-read conservative and libertarian "blogosphere," including Glenn Reynolds's Instapundit and Scott Ott's satiric Scrappleface. "The book offers a fascinating history of the rise of these more conservative media outlets," noted a reviewer on the Brothers Judd Web site. Mark Radulich, writing for the Pop and Politics Web site, stated that the book also functions as "a who's who guide to new conservatism in mainstream news and politics." Weekly Standard contributor Jordan Fabian praised South Park Conservatives as "more than just the run of the mill liberals-control-the-media shtick. Anderson's reporting style … and articulate judgments make his book a quick and refreshing read."
Anderson is also the author of Raymond Aron: The Recovery of the Political, an examination of the political philosophies of the mid-twentieth-century French thinker. Although Aron's works remain popular in his native country, it is little known in the United States. "Writing with great clarity of style from a stance of interpretive charity, Anderson helps us to sort out Aron's enormous oeuvre," Jean Bethke Elshtain explained in First Things. Aron was reluctant to espouse one particular, concrete political philosophy, particularly Stalinism (which he soundly rejected) or the purportedly anti-political literary philosophies of Jean-Paul Sartre and some of Aron's other French contemporaries. Anderson explains this reluctance as the logical result of Aron's belief that human beings cannot know enough about the way in which society works to fashion the perfect world envisioned by many such theorists. Elshtain went on to comment Anderson's "discussion of Aron's 'critique of ideology' contains powerful moments, as does Anderson's unpacking of one of Aron's chief passions and concerns, the world of international and diplomatic relations." Review of Politics contributor Sanford Lakoff also praised Raymond Aron as being written "with considerable skill and nuance."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
First Things, November, 1998, Jean Bethke Elshtain, review of Raymond Aron: The Recovery of the Political, p. 52.
Review of Politics, fall, 1998, Sanford Lakoff, review of Raymond Aron, p. 799.
Weekly Standard, May 9, 2005, Jordan Fabian, review of South Park Conservatives: The Revolt against Liberal Media Bias, p. 43.
Brothers Judd Web site, http://www.brothersjudd.com/ (April 15, 2005), review of South Park Conservatives, and interview with author.
Manhattan Institute for Policy Research Web site, http://www.manhattan-institute.org/ (June 24, 2005), "Brian C. Anderson."
Pop and Politics Web site, http://www.popandpolitics.com/ (April 22, 2005), Mark Radulich, review of South Park Conservatives.