From the beginning of the chapter:
Postwar American conservatism did not emerge as a coherent body of beliefs, but rather as a set of separate strains of thought, aligned for practical purposes by their anticommunism and their opposition to New Deal liberalism. The perception of a common enemy served as the ideological glue within the movement, but just how far could conservatives go without attempting to formulate a shared vision of "the good society"?
Although a fairly wide spectrum of beliefs could be found within the movement, the most evident division was the one between traditionalist and libertarian views. One of the major intellectual tasks facing conservatives would be to sort out the relationship between these two bodies of ideas. Were they, as Robert Nisbet suggested, "uneasy cousins"? - offspring of the same political tradition with different emphases - or were they, regardless of the attempts to make them pull in the same political direction, inherently contradictory on the intellectual level - reflecting different views on the state, on freedom, on authority, on reason, and on human nature?