Kevin Y. Kim presents “America’s Ideas, America’s Wars"


IAS faculty member Kevin Y. Kim presented, in early November, at the 10th anniversary conference of the Society for U.S. Intellectual History in Chicago. His paper, titled “America’s Ideas, America’s Wars,” argues that New Right conservatism arose from Old Right conservatism, but only as an array of contested internationalist visions, which competed for influence from World War II to the Vietnam War. From World War II to the Korean War, conservatives— who anticipated the powerful reign of conservatives today — articulated and struggled, ultimately unsuccessfully, for an “internationalist” middle ground between Cold War globalism and Old Right “isolationism.” Challenging views of the New Right as an unalloyed “triumph” of conservatism, it argues that the New Right’s ascendancy masked a significant, growing split among conservatives regarding the aims, costs, and consequences of global interventionism — giving rise to contending factions of U.S. conservatism which persist to this day.