What Was Liberalism?

What Was Liberalism?

The Past, Present, and Promise of A Noble Idea

Book - 2019
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"In the vertiginous era of Trump and Marine le Pen, liberalism's status is challenged. There is a widespread fear that liberal values, long taken for granted, are now in danger -- not only from authoritarian countries abroad, but also from a loss of faith inside the liberal world. What happened? Why did liberalism lose the majority support it once enjoyed? And what is so precious about liberalism in the first place? In What Was Liberalism?, award-winning journalist and author James Traub tackles these questions by examining the history of liberalism, from the American and French revolutions through the writings of John Stuart Mill and early-twentieth-century American progressives to liberalism's midcentury triumph in the West, its shaky present, and its uncertain future. Liberalism, Traub shows, began with a commitment to individual liberty, but it didn't end there. Over time, liberals sought to balance freedom of speech and action with goods like justice and equality, opposing both economic exploitation and totalitarianism. Partly as a result, the relationship between liberalism and democracy also evolved. Many nineteenth-century liberals were deeply worried about the democracy's illiberal effects, but by the middle of the twentieth century, liberalism had become the consensus faith of a wide swath of Americans and Europeans, both left and right. Yet even as the liberal West emerged victorious from the Cold War, liberalism's broad majoritarian foundations were crumbling, falling prey to accelerating economic inequality and the vexing challenges of race and immigration. Traub explores how illiberalism burned out of sight like an underground fire, and how it exploded into view in Europe and the United States in recent decades"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Basic Books, 2019
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781541616851
Branch Call Number: 320.51 TRAUB
Characteristics: vii, 311 pages ; 25 cm


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