Liberalism: The Life of an Idea (Revised edition)

Liberalism: The Life of an Idea (Revised edition)

By: Edmund Fawcett (author), Edmund Fawcett (preface_author)Paperback

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Liberalism dominates today's politics just as it decisively shaped the American and European past. This engrossing history of liberalism--the first in English for many decades--traces liberalism's ideals, successes, and failures through the lives and ideas of a rich cast of European and American thinkers and politicians, from the early nineteenth century to today. An enlightening account of a vulnerable but critically important political creed, Liberalism provides the vital historical and intellectual background for hard thinking about liberal democracy's future.

About Author

Edmund Fawcett worked at The Economist for more than three decades, serving as chief correspondent in Washington, Paris, and Berlin, as well as European and literary editor. His writing has also appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Guardian, among other publications.


Preface to the Paperback Edition xi Preface xvii Acknowledgments xxiii Introduction It's About More Than Liberty 1 PART ONE The Confidence of Youth (1830-1880) 27 1 Historical Setting in the 1830s: Thrown into a World of Ceaseless Change 28 2 Guiding Thoughts from Founding Thinkers: Conflict, Resistance, Progress, and Respect 34 i. Humboldt and Constant: Releasing People's Capacities and Respecting Their Privacy 34 ii. Guizot: Taming Conflict without Arbitrary Power 44 iii. Tocqueville and Schulze-Delitzsch: The Modern Powers of Mass Democracy and Mass Markets 57 iv. Chadwick and Cobden: Governments and Markets as Engines of Social Progress 65 v. Smiles and Channing: Personal Progress as Self-Reliance or Moral Uplift 74 vi. Spencer: Liberalism Mistaken for Biology 79 vii. J. S. Mill: Holding Liberalism's Ideas Together 85 3 Liberalism in Practice: Four Exemplary Politicians 98 i. Lincoln: The Many Uses of "Liberty" in the Land of Liberty 98 ii. Laboulaye and Richter: Tests for Liberals in Semiliberal Regimes 106 iii. Gladstone: Liberalism's Capaciousness and the Politicsof Balance 112 4 The Nineteenth-Century Legacy: Liberalism without Caricature 117 i. Respect, "the Individual," and the Lessons of Toleration 117 ii. The Achievements That Gave Liberals Confidence 133 PART TWO Liberalism in Maturity and the Struggle with Democracy (1880-1945) 137 5 Historical Setting in the 1880s: The World Liberals Were Making 138 6 The Compromises That Gave Us Liberal Democracy 146 i. Political Democracy: Liberal Resistance to Suffrage Extension 146 ii. Economic Democracy: The "New Liberalism" and Novel Tasks for the State 159 iii. Ethical Democracy: Letting Go Ethically and the Persistence of Intolerance 167 7 The Economic Powers of the Modern State and Modern Market 173 i. Walras, Marshall, and the Business Press: Resisting the State on Behalf of Markets 173 ii. Hobhouse, Naumann, Croly, and Bourgeois: Resisting Markets on Behalf of Society 186 8 Damaged Ideals and Broken Dreams 198 i. Chamberlain and Bassermann: Liberal Imperialism 198 ii. Lloyd George, Clemenceau, and Wilson: Liberal Hawks of 1914-1918 214 iii. Alain, Baldwin, and Brandeis: Liberal Dissent and the Warfare State 227 iv. Stresemann: Liberal Democracy in Peril 237 v. Keynes, Fisher, and Hayek (i): Liberal Economists in the Slump 245 vi. Hoover and Roosevelt: Forgotten Liberal and Foremost Liberal 267 9 Thinking about Liberalism in the 1930s-1940s 275 i. Lippmann and Hayek (ii): Liberals as Antitotalitarians 275 ii. Popper: Liberalism as Openness and Experiment 279 PART THREE Second Chance and Success (1945-1989) 285 10 Historical Setting after 1945: Liberal Democracy's New Start 286 11 New Foundations: Rights, a Democratic Rule of Law, and Welfare 290 i. Drafters of the 1948 Declaration of Human Rights: Liberal Democracy Goes Global 290 ii. German Postwar Liberals: The 1949 Basic Law as Liberal Democracy's Exemplary Charter 302 iii. Beveridge: Liberalism and Welfare 312 12 Liberal Thinking after 1945 316 i. Oakeshott and Berlin: Letting Politics Alone and "Negative" Liberty 317 ii. Hayek (iii): Political Antipolitics 327 iii. Orwell, Camus, and Sartre: Liberals in the Cold War 332 iv. Rawls: Justifying Liberalism 338 v. Nozick, Dworkin, and MacIntyre: Responses to Rawls, Rights, and Community 348 13 The Breadth of Liberal Politics in the 1950s-1980s 355 i. Mendes-France, Brandt, and Johnson: Left Liberalism in the 1950s-1960s 355 ii. Buchanan and Friedman: Liberal Economists Against the State 368 iii. Thatcher, Reagan, Mitterrand, and Kohl: Right Liberalism in the 1970s-1980s 378 PART FOUR After 1989 391 Coda Liberal Dreams in the Twenty-First Century 392 Works Consulted 409 Name Index 433 Subject Index 444

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780691168395
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 496
  • ID: 9780691168395
  • weight: 369
  • ISBN10: 0691168393
  • translations: English
  • language of text: English
  • edition: Revised edition

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