Listen free for 30 days

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

What does it mean to be a conservative in an age so sceptical of conservatism? How can we live in the presence of our 'canonized forefathers' at a time when their cultural, religious and political bequest is so routinely rejected? With soft left-liberalism as the dominant force in Western politics, what can conservatives now contribute to public debate that will not be dismissed as pure nostalgia?

In this highly personal and witty book, renowned philosopher Roger Scruton explains how to live as a conservative in spite of the pressures to exist otherwise. Drawing on his own experience as a counter-cultural presence in public life, Scruton argues that while humanity might survive in the absence of the conservative outlook, it certainly won't flourish.

How to Be a Conservative is not only a blueprint for modern conservatism. It is a heartfelt appeal on behalf of old fashioned decencies and values, which are the bedrock of our weakened, but still enduring civilization.

©2014 Roger Scruton (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What listeners say about How to Be a Conservative

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    158
  • 4 Stars
    43
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    3
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    136
  • 4 Stars
    32
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    127
  • 4 Stars
    31
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    3

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Superb, it will teach you how to listen.

Whatever you think your political leanings are, put them to one side and with an open mind listen to this treasure of thought and the arguments that are derived and put for the listener to consider. At times it is heavy going and I found my self going back to get a better understanding. A great listen that should be read or listened to by all that want to have a better understanding . Roger Scruton is a man and product of our time, compellingly brilliant.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

excellent book

we'll put together, very interesting and particularly compelling. there is a lot to think about in just this one book.

great read.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

There's still some sanity in the world ...

This is a timely and moving account of why Conservatism is both reasonable and humane. Roger Scruton takes a clear-eyed look at some very big issues that affect all our lives - the EU, immigration, the environment, human rights, religion etc. Please read this book.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An education

This was an excellent read. His language and references are so highbrow, that I constantly had to to look things up! This heavy topic is interspersed with humor and cynicism. Scruton breaks the book down in to analysis of nationalism, socialism, capitalism, liberalism, multiculturalism, environmentalism, internationalism and conservatism. He looks at the modern conservative in today’s materialistic society amidst the wave of ‘liberalism’ sweeping the nation.

The most telling quote is below:

“But many who call themselves liberal today have little understanding of what that virtue really is. Toleration does not mean renouncing all opinions that others might find offensive. It does not mean an easy-going relativism or a belief that ‘anything goes’. On the contrary, it means accepting the rights of others to think and act in ways of which you disapprove.”

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Let there be light!

after listening to this I think most Brits are essentially conservatives..helpful and clear, well read

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

This book helps no one

I came to this book looking to broaden my horizons and perhaps give greater consideration and empathy to a political stance which, on the face of it, is generally opposed to my beliefs. Given world events such as the direction of the Brexit vote and Trump's enduring support in America I was conscious that there might be something that I, personally, was missing in the view of the Conservatives of the world.

Needless to say this book disappointed. Scruton's views were delivered in a manner akin to having a conversation with an eloquent, but talkative, closet-racist. I'm not calling him a racist, as he feels the need to dedicate a large portion of the book to saying he isn't one, I'm saying it is analogous. He will make a point, sometimes accompanying this with facts, laws, and supporting data, then build to a hyperbolic and laughable crescendo which uncovers his true opinion. Each time, just enough rope to hang himself. As an example, when discussing the integration of immigrants into British society he claims that liberals go as far as to be accepting of forced marriage and female genital mutilation for fear of causing offence. Interestingly, he has no supporting evidence for the liberals who are sympathetic towards FGM. A second example,which casts light on his viewpoint, is in discussing the "PC agenda" of discrimination, in which he condemns the anti-discrimination laws which result in the Catholic Church being prevented from allowing adoptions rather than the Church's backwards stance on homosexuality which the laws expose.

I actually feel that his bigoted views don't speak for the majority of Conservatives and as such I am back at square one. Having said this, my concern now centres on the number of 5 star reviews for the book listed here, reviews such as "There's still some sanity in the world" and "I think most Brits are essentially conservatives". Clearly there are plenty of people that do agree with him.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Ana spéisiúl

ceapaim go bhfuil an teideal beagánín míthreorach. Phlé an t-údar coincheap tábhactach ach nuair labhraíonn sé faoi Rawls, Hagel, Marx, etc, tá ort stopigí chun tagairt

Is maith liom an leabhar, agus léfaidh mé arís agus arís eile é.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Superb insights for our times

Roger Scruton delivers deeply thought through responses to the major challenges of our time with the integrity and erudition of a mature philosopher. He provides a very refreshing perspective for anyone troubled by the rise of identity politics and the shallow depth of political debate that has become the norm.
The performance is good. I dropped a star because I prefer to hear the author narrating.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A tad too wistful for my taste

Clearly Roger Scrutin was a highly educated man, with the ability to strung together multiple themes to make his arguments. And I appreciated many of them. But the nostalgia of looking back on the days when lemonade bottles has a deposit on them and - in particular - the almost unquestioning love of the institutions of the past put me off. Dixon of Dock Green was a great series, but it didn’t represent the thuggish police who waded into peaceful revellers at Stonehenge every year. I will not agree that banning cruel sports is an imposition of the state (bear baiting, anyone?), nor that the more accepting treatment of homosexuality is a retrograde step. If the past was simply better, what of the desperation of inner city families in Manchester - or Wigan Pier, come to that. Erudite, yes, and perhaps I’ve been tainted by four years of Trump in the US; but I found this just a little too romanticized.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Very good

I read this book in order to better understand the success of ‘conservative’ politics in the western world.

I think Roger Scruton does in this book what few other authors have achieved which is to articulate the ineffable sense of home and belonging which ties us to our place and country and place of birth. The writing is clear and often profound.

There are some important insights onto what we have lost, on the importance of respecting the past and our ancestry and also the painstaking process that has bought us to where we are today. It also sheds light on the importance and ongoing relevance of the Christian message in a secular society.

I found it a tad partisan at the outset, hence 4 stars.

The concluding chapter is beautifully written and very profound. Unfortunately I very much doubt that those who would benefit most from reading this book will bother but I certainly learned a lot.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Hannah Westby
  • Hannah Westby
  • 23-01-15

Refreshingly Enlightening

If you are interested in politics beyond watching the news or reading the paper, this book with worth a listen. His adroit definitions and appropriate coverage of the key points of political thought add clarity to a typically muddled group of ideas. His critique of the modern right wing is eye opening and revealing. This book has really opened my mind and I hope it opens yours.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for John Madany
  • John Madany
  • 13-10-14

Coherent explanation of true conservatism

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

It is work to be a conservative. Scruton does some of the work by sharing thoughtful explanations of what conservatism is. His work will help me articulate my experience as a conservative.

Which scene was your favorite?

A conservative values what previous generations handed down to the living generation and tries to live in a way that leaves the next generation with an inheritance rather than a debt.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Christin
  • Christin
  • 20-01-19

Brilliant

I thought more profoundly about society and my place in it during these few hours than I did during the entire 6 years of my university miseducation.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Wayne
  • Wayne
  • 13-01-20

RIP Sir Roger Scruton

Conservative philosopher Roger Scruton died of cancer earlier today (January 12, 2020) at age 75. Likely the best known and most important conservative intellectual of our time Sir Roger leaves behind a wealth of publications. I selected HOW TO BE A CONSERVATIVE randomly. It is a marvelous book. Released in 2014 it defines what conservatism is compellingly. I prefer Fools, Frauds and Firebrands which is his take down of modern leftists. Being a classical liberal I've never considered myself a conservative but no matter one's political philosophy reading Scruton is always a delight.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for mdun
  • mdun
  • 23-06-16

Conservatism is more than economic theory

Very thought provoking about the essence of conservative thought and action. Scruton goes beyond economic and political theory to examine the cultural aspects of conservatism.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Peter Smale
  • Peter Smale
  • 19-12-18

Review of reading

Very clearly read. One comment though: it is important for listening comprehension to include sufficient pauses at ends of sections and after headings.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for George
  • George
  • 11-11-15

Good book

Good subjects including socialism/communism vs. capitalism, Sharia vs. democracy, crony capitalism vs. free market capitalism.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Bill Jakinovich
  • Bill Jakinovich
  • 24-09-20

Scruton take on conservatism

This is a survey of Dr. Scruton’s view on politics, history, society, culture, etc. Expansive and intricate and deep. He covers all the important controversies of the day while outlining his general conservative perspective. I enjoyed the audible so much I am going to purchase the book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for R. Shelley
  • R. Shelley
  • 12-02-20

Excellent journey through conservatism

This was the first book by Sir Roger Scruton I purchased. It is undeniably perennial as Scruton dives long into history, philosophy, politics, economics, religion, art, architecture, conservation and more to show us just how rich and long a history we have as a people and why it's worth preserving.

Scruton shows us how modern definitions of conservatism and liberalism sadly miss the mark and how we ought to see them in their original form in order to value and embody them better.

I will be buying paper copies from now on as there was too much I wanted to quote and nothing but audio to quote it from.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Leopoldo Faiad da Cunha
  • Leopoldo Faiad da Cunha
  • 23-01-20

A mesmerizing book

This book is a guide for a good sense. After read it, many start to make sense.