About Robert Nisbet

Robert Nisbet (1913-1996) was Professor of Sociology at Columbia University and the author of numerous books, including The Quest for Community, Conservatism: Dream and Reality, and Twilight of Authority.

The Urban Crisis Revisited

By |2017-03-07T15:41:34-06:00February 8th, 2017|Categories: Books, Civil Society, Featured, Robert Nisbet, Social Institutions, The Imaginative Conservative|

Given the nature of our politically-driven, morality-obsessed middle class society, and its passion for direct action, it follows that the more persons there are who are dedicated to solving problems, the more problems there have to be… The Unheavenly City by Edward C. Banfield (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1970) Once in a great while there [...]

Still Questing for Community

By |2019-06-06T18:33:25-05:00April 11th, 2016|Categories: Books, Community, Essential, Featured, Robert Nisbet, The Conservative Mind, Timeless Essays|

Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords readers the opportunity to join Robert Nisbet as he reflects on his landmark book, The Quest for Community. —W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher In the retrospect of forty years I can see my book, The Quest for Community (first published by Oxford University Press in 1953), as one of [...]

Has the Modern Family Failed Us?

By |2019-11-21T11:47:33-06:00February 23rd, 2016|Categories: Culture, Family, Featured, Tradition|

Nowhere is the concern with the problem of community in Western society more intense than with respect to the family. The contemporary family, as countless books, articles, college courses, and marital clinics make plain, has become an obsessive problem. The family inspires a curious dualism of thought. We tend to regard it uneasily as a final manifestation of tribal society, [...]

Still Questing for Community

By |2019-09-10T17:04:54-05:00September 26th, 2012|Categories: Books, Community, Conservatism, Robert Nisbet, Russell Kirk|Tags: |

In the retrospect of forty years I can see my book, The Quest for Community (first published by Oxford University Press in 1953), as one of the harbingers of what would become by the end of the 1950s a full-fledged renascence of conservatism. There had been authentic and forthright individual conservatives before the 50s; among [...]

Conservatives and Libertarians: Uneasy Cousins

By |2020-09-23T15:40:41-05:00July 15th, 2012|Categories: Conservatism, Edmund Burke, John Stuart Mill, Libertarians, Robert Nisbet|Tags: |

Modern political conservatism takes its origin in Edmund Burke’s insistence upon the rights of society and its historically formed groups such as family, neighborhood, guild and church against the “arbitrary power” of a political government. By common assent modern conservatism, as political philosophy, springs from Edmund Burke: chiefly from his Reflections on the Revolution in [...]

The Family, Religious Association, and Local Community

By |2017-06-27T16:15:22-05:00March 24th, 2011|Categories: Community, Conservatism, Quotation, Robert Nisbet|

Robert Nisbet The family, religious association, and local community—these, the  conservatives insisted, cannot be regarded as the external products of man’s thought and behavior; they are essentially prior to the individual and are the indispensable supports of belief and conduct. Release man from the contexts of community and you get not freedom and [...]

On War, Crisis and Centralization of Power

By |2020-04-06T11:37:58-05:00July 27th, 2010|Categories: Foreign Affairs, Robert Nisbet, War|

No one can miss the degree to which war becomes increasingly an anodyne for internal torments and frustrations. As the way out of economic crisis, political division, and intolerable social disintegration, war, despite its consecration of force and violence, its raw disciplines, and its heavy blanket of regimentation upon a social order, becomes attractive to [...]

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