At the kind of parties that talk-show hosts pride themselves on not frequenting, I’m sometimes asked how a nice young fellow like me became a conservative. If I’m feeling mischievous, I tell the truth: In my teens, I was a punk rocker, but when I got to college, I discovered that no one was impressed. Grating noise, outlandish hairstyles, and tattoos were rather the rule than the exception. Confronted with this alarming transvaluation, I decided to adopt the most outlandish, provocative, intolerable attitude that I could think of. You can fill in the rest.

I encourage people in Cambridge or the Upper West Side to consider me a real original. But the truth is that stories like mine are surprisingly common. In Proud to Be Right, the National Review columnist Jonah Goldberg collects the testimony of nearly two dozen young conservatives. Although they range in profession from journalists to physicians, most of the...


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