We are excited to announce this event for Friends and Young Friends of The New Criterion. If you would like to attend, consider joining our program.


Last season, The New Criterion published a special series of eleven essays under the title “Future Tense: The Lessons of Culture in an Age of Upheaval.” The series provided a critical collage not only of the many challenges America faces but also of some traditional sources of strength that we may have unfairly neglected or underestimated. The aim of the series, and of the hardcover book of essays published this fall by Encounter Books, is to provide a cultural pathologist’s report on America and the West’s recent trajectory, while also outlining some remedial strategies for renewal.

The penultimate essay in “Future Tense” is “The Fourth Revolution” by James Piereson. In it, Piereson argues that, for the first time since the 1930s, the United States faces a fundamental existential challenge to its political and social institutions which could rapidly sharpen into a crisis. Piereson’s essay quickly became a focal point of discussion in the blogosphere, talk radio, and beyond. Powerline named it “the article of the year.” Rush Limbaugh read long excerpts of it over the air to his audience. There have been several articles devoted to pondering Piereson’s thesis. Clearly, “The Fourth Revolution” hit a nerve.

This conference seeks to define the political, economic, and cultural dimensions of Piereson’s challenge, to understand the choices that led us here, and to suggest alternative courses of action that can help establish a new and prosperous American consensus. No matter who wins the Presidential election in November, our current impasse suggests an endgame for a system of politics that originated in the 1930s and 1940s. 



The New Criterion


“America’s Fourth Revolution”

a symposium

Introduction by Roger Kimball


James Piereson on

“Is America in a pre-revolutionary situation?”

with a response by William Kristol


John Steele Gordon on

“Is capitalism in crisis?”

with a response by Nicole Gelinas


Charles R. Kesler on

“Is a culture of dependency to blame?”

with a response by Kevin D. Williamson


Andrew Roberts on

“Are America’s Best Days Behind Her Forever?”

Keynote Luncheon Address


November 28, 2012

Buffet Breakfast 8:00 a.m.

Panel Discussion 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Luncheon 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.


RSVP for location
Alexandra Preate • (212) 588-9148 • [email protected] 



We gratefully acknowledge the indispensable support of the Thomas W. Smith Foundation, which made this event possible.

Nicole Gelinas is the Searle Freedom Trust Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal.

Charles R. Kesler is Distinguished Professor of Government at Claremont-McKenna College and editor of the Claremont Review of Books. His most recent book is I Am the Change: Barack Obama and the Crisis of Liberalism (Broadside).

Roger Kimball is Editor and Publisher of The New Criterion and President and Publisher of Encounter Books. His most recent book is The Fortunes of Permanence: Culture and Anarchy in an Age of Amnesia (St. Augustine’s).

William Kristol is editor of The Weekly Standard.

Stephen Moore is an editor at the Wall Street Journal.

James Piereson is president of the William E. Simon Foundation.

Andrew Roberts’s most recent book is The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War (HarperCollins).

Kevin D. Williamson is a senior editor at National Review and author of The Dependency Agenda (Encounter).  




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