JOHN DERBYSHIRE is a contributing editor for National
Review, where he writes a regular column. He also contributes
regularly to National Review Online and writes frequently for a
number of other publications, including the Wall Street
Journal, the American Conservative, the Washington
Examiner, and the New Criterion. In addition to his
opinion journalism, he writes on the subject of mathematics and is
the author of the books Prime Obsession and Unknown
Quantity. His novel, Seeing Calvin Coolidge in a Dream,
was chosen as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. A
native of England, Derbyshire now lives on Long Island, New York,
with his wife and two children.
"Where will a more intelligent, hence pessimistic, yet sprightly
conservatism come from? You are holding in your hands part of the
--George F. Will, Pulitzer Prize--winning columnist and author of One Man's America
"John Derbyshire contends that a comprehensive pessimism is the
natural home for realistic conservatives, a breed that understands
human nature better than utopian liberals and 'happy talk
conservatives.' His argument is wide-ranging, erudite, and
invigorating, but, paradoxically, delivered with cheerful
--Judge Robert H. Bork, author of the New York Times bestsellers The Tempting of America and Slouching Towards Gomorrah "Just when you thought there was nothing to American conservatism but a bunch of blue-blazered fuddy-duddies who talk about global democracy, here comes John Derbyshire, who reminds us all of the place of pessimism and skepticism in the Western tradition. Not a moment too soon."
--Taki Theodoracopulos, cofounder of The American Conservative and editor and publisher of Taki's Magazine, takimag.com "A funny and brilliant call to pessimism, Man's last, best hope for a tolerable life. Pessimists are not only the only realists; they have all the best jokes."
--Theodore Dalrymple, author of Not With a Bang But a Whimper and Our Culture, What's Left of It