Betrayal Of Liberalism

Betrayal Of Liberalism

by Hilton Kramer
     
 

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Just fifty years ago the literary critic Lionel Trilling spoke of liberalism as “not only the dominant but even the sole intellectual tradition” in American society. At the turn of the twentieth century this is clearly no longer the case, when conservative ideas have succeeded in many areas of public policy. Yet America’s mainstream

Overview

Just fifty years ago the literary critic Lionel Trilling spoke of liberalism as “not only the dominant but even the sole intellectual tradition” in American society. At the turn of the twentieth century this is clearly no longer the case, when conservative ideas have succeeded in many areas of public policy. Yet America’s mainstream institutions—the media, the academy, popular culture, religion, the law—remain largely under the sway of a liberal ethos. In this incisive collection of essays which appeared originally in The New Criterion, nine distinguished critics and observers examine the origins and prospects of liberalism, from its roots in thinkers such as Rousseau and Mill to its troubled legacy in twentieth-century pursuits. They are cogent in explaining the compromising effects of liberalism in the moral and intellectual life of our culture, and seek to disentangle what is beneficent from what is destructive in its ideas. At a time when basic liberal assumptions about man and society are so deeply entrenched that they go largely unrecognized—and unexamined—The Betrayal of Liberalism offers a rewarding and enriching analysis. Its contributors include Roger Scruton, Keith Windschuttle, Hadley Arkes, Robert Conquest, Jean Bethke Elshtain, Robert Kagan, John Silber, John O’Sullivan, Hilton Kramer, and Roger Kimball.

Editorial Reviews

The Wall Street Journal
It is a rich book...Whatever one's views on this particular question, the essays in The Betrayal of Liberalism are all worth reading and pondering.
— Robert Bork
The Historian - David Steigerwald
A fine collection of original essays that ponder the main conundrum besetting conservative intellectuals: Why is it that they have all the best arguments and yet seem to lose at every turn in liberalism?
The Wall Street Journal - Robert Bork
It is a rich book...Whatever one's views on this particular question, the essays in The Betrayal of Liberalism are all worth reading and pondering.
The Historian
A fine collection of original essays that ponder the main conundrum besetting conservative intellectuals: Why is it that they have all the best arguments and yet seem to lose at every turn in liberalism?
— David Steigerwald
Wall Street Journal
It is a rich book...Whatever one's views on this particular question, the essays in The Betrayal of Liberalism are all worth reading and pondering.
— Robert Bork
Robert Bork
The essays in The Betrayal of Liberalism are all worth reading and pondering. It is a rich book.
Wall Street Journal
David Steigerwald
A fine collection of original essays that ponder the main conundrum besetting conservative intellectuals: Why is it that they have all the best arguments and yet seem to lose at every turn in liberalism?
Historian
Library Journal
Originally published in the neo-conservative journal the New Centurion, the ten essays in this provocative anthology persistently attack present-day liberals for "betraying" their time-honored heritage of freedom and equality. The editors' introductory essay, which bears the book's title, argues that contemporary liberalism seeks to "impose an ideology of virtue" on society. The remaining essays relate this criticism to the areas of law, religion, foreign policy, historical narrative, and a construed connection between totalitarianism and liberalism. Although the essays range from philosophical analysis (Roger Kimball) and historical narrative (Keith Windschuttle) to autobiographical memoir (John Silber), the essayists focus their common disdain on the philosophies of famous political theorists (e.g., Rousseau and Marx) and on political treatises based on moral relativism (e.g., John Stuart Mill)--ideas that they believe have created a "liberalism" whose adherents today act like their historical adversaries on the right. For larger academic and public libraries.--Jack Forman, San Diego Mesa Coll. Lib. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781566632584
Publisher:
Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
Publication date:
10/25/1999
Pages:
254
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.38(h) x 0.76(d)

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Meet the Author

Hilton Kramer is editor of The New Criterion and author, most recently, of The Twilight of the Intellectuals. He is also art critic of the New York Times Observer. Roger Kimball is managing editor of The New Criterion. He has written Tenured Radicals and has recently edited a new edition of Walter Bagehot’s Physics and Politics.

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