Still, there was a period, well before the Reagan Revolution, that could help inspire and guide today’s reform-minded conservatives. In its first few decades, National Review was roiled by internal debates that spilled onto its pages over the right course for conservatism. And now, after a quarter century of relative contentment with an ever more conservative Republican establishment, it seems that dissent is coming back into style on the right. Even to those conservatives who welcome this shift, it is small consolation for their electoral defeat. But at least their daily reading diet is about to become a lot more interesting. 

Ben Adler covers climate-change policy for Grist and is a contributing editor for CJR