The Lost History of Liberalism : From Ancient Rome to the Twenty-First Century

The Lost History of Liberalism : From Ancient Rome to the Twenty-First Century

Description

The changing face of the liberal creed from the ancient world to today

The Lost History of Liberalism challenges our most basic assumptions about a political creed that has become a rallying cry-and a term of derision-in today's increasingly divided public square. Taking readers from ancient Rome to today, Helena Rosenblatt traces the evolution of the words "liberal" and "liberalism," revealing the heated debates that have taken place over their meaning.

In this timely and provocative book, Rosenblatt debunks the popular myth of liberalism as a uniquely Anglo-American tradition centered on individual rights. She shows that it was the French Revolution that gave birth to liberalism and Germans who transformed it. Only in the mid-twentieth century did the concept become widely known in the United States-and then, as now, its meaning was hotly debated. Liberals were originally moralists at heart. They believed in the power of religion to reform society, emphasized the sanctity of the family, and never spoke of rights without speaking of duties. It was only during the Cold War and America's growing world hegemony that liberalism was refashioned into an American ideology focused so strongly on individual freedoms.

Today, we still can't seem to agree on liberalism's meaning. In the United States, a "liberal" is someone who advocates big government, while in France, big government is contrary to "liberalism." Political debates become befuddled because of semantic and conceptual confusion. The Lost History of Liberalism sets the record straight on a core tenet of today's political conversation and lays the foundations for a more constructive discussion about the future of liberal democracy.

Similar Books

ISBN 10: 0374137641
ISBN 13: 9780374137649

18 Sep 2018
James Miller

ISBN 10: 022658898X
ISBN 13: 9780226588988

29 Jan 2019
Dan Edelstein

ISBN 10: 0300240023
ISBN 13: 9780300240023

03 May 2019
Patrick J. Deneen

ISBN 10: 0691180385
ISBN 13: 9780691180380

18 Jun 2018
Edmund Fawcett

ISBN 10: 0300226632
ISBN 13: 9780300226638

02 Jul 2019
Robert Louis Wilken

ISBN 10: 1250170567
ISBN 13: 9781250170569

19 Jun 2018
Roger Scruton

ISBN 10: 1529401577
ISBN 13: 9781529401578

14 May 2019
Adam Gopnik

ISBN 10: 1846143519
ISBN 13: 9781846143519

18 Jun 2018
Julian Jackson

ISBN 10: 0241352827
ISBN 13: 9780241352823

06 Sep 2018
Robert Skidelsky

ISBN 10: 1631493833
ISBN 13: 9781631493836

17 Sep 2018
Kwame Anthony Appiah

ISBN 10: 0674979524
ISBN 13: 9780674979529

30 Mar 2018
Quinn Slobodian

ISBN 10: 087140737X
ISBN 13: 9780871407375

07 Apr 2014
Jonathan Sperber