Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Blood of the Liberals” as Want to Read:
Blood of the Liberals
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Blood of the Liberals

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  77 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
An acclaimed journalist and novelist explores the legacy and future of American liberalism through the history of his family's politically active history

George Packer's maternal grandfather, George Huddleston, was a populist congressman from Alabama in the early part of the century--an agrarian liberal in the Jacksonian mold who opposed the New Deal. Packer's father was a
...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published August 1st 2001 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published August 1st 2000)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Blood of the Liberals, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Blood of the Liberals

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Clif
Aug 28, 2013 Clif rated it it was amazing
Remember Tina Turner telling us in Proud Mary that she was going to start out easy, but she was going to end rough? So it is with this book that has what starts as a routine history take fire.

George Packer wonders about the father that he barely knew, who had a disabling stroke when George was a young boy and who died not long after. He looks back into family history to see if he can establish a thread that will tell him something about America, his own family, and himself. That thread is libera
...more
Carol Storm
Jan 12, 2015 Carol Storm rated it did not like it
This book was a terrible disappointment.

No author -- at least no non-fiction author -- should ever put "blood" in the title unless they really mean business. Unless they really intend to present true facts about the suffering of real people who made the ultimate sacrifice in a worthy cause.

That's not what this book is about at all. There are no heroes. There are no martyrs. There's just a whole lot of clamorous posturing and revisionist history. All of it as dry as dust, too.

Packer represents
...more
Geoff
Feb 11, 2010 Geoff rated it really liked it
The protagonist in the first half is acutally my great-grandfather by birth. It was not easy being a liberal in the deep south circa 19th century.
Matt
Feb 15, 2008 Matt rated it really liked it

This is a really wonderful book about family, politics, generations of liberalism and what liberalism really means.

Lightly written, that is to say not ponderous or pretentious or dense.

Packer tells the story of his maternal branch of Southern Democrats and paternal branch of New York Jewish intelligentsia coming together into his own personal history....as well as, of course, the political history of American politics today.

You get the story of his struggles with his own personal family's histo
...more
Michael
Jan 22, 2016 Michael rated it it was ok
Yeah...no. I loved George Packer's recent book The Unwinding, so I thought I'd give this one a shot. Packer is a good writer, but I only got about 70 pages in before I realized that I just didn't give a shit. This book is a history of his family's devotion to liberalism, spanning from the Progressive Era to about 2000. Whatever.
John
May 12, 2015 John rated it it was amazing
I’m a big Packer fan, ever since I started reading his articles in The New Yorker and his book, Assassin’s Gate about Iraq war. The Blood of Liberals doesn't disappoint. Part history, part family memoir, it’s the story about the development of contemporary liberalism as we know it today has traced through Packer’s maternal grandfather, George Huddleston, his father, Herbert Packer and his own ideological journey. Each of the periods takes up approximately one-third of the book, but the most ...more
Jesse
Jul 17, 2008 Jesse rated it it was amazing
I'm hoping to go back and re-read this one at some point, though it certainly isn't something one can breeze through. I love how the author blends the history of the liberal political movement in this country with his own family's political and personal history. I also related to his stories of trying to figure out his own beliefs, both politically and spiritually. His account of losing his father is truly touching. I am still hoping to check out more of George Packer's books in the near future.
Pam
Sep 01, 2016 Pam rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a very well written history of the Packer family. Author's grandfather on his mom's side of the family was a Populist Southern Baptist from Birmingham, AL who served as a Congressman in the House of Representatives. His father was a Jewish son of immigrants who became a Stanford professor in the 1960's. The author included his own political development.

I felt I leaned new ideas as well as evaluating old ideas. The book inspired my hopes for continuation of liberal, populist-progressive
...more
Colin
Jun 09, 2008 Colin rated it really liked it
Shelves: jalc-era, nonfiction
A powerful account of the political and personal examining (and empathizing with) successive generations caught on the wrong side of history by their adherence to principle. In recognizing both past liberal achievements and the potential for future projects it's a inspiration to cure disaffection.
Josh
May 17, 2007 Josh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps the best book I have ever read. A fascinating story that tells about George Packer's family history and the rise and fall of American liberalism and reform movements. Pick it up...now!
Dave Peticolas
Oct 08, 2014 Dave Peticolas rated it liked it
Packer reviews the last century or so of liberalism through the biographies of his father and grandfather.
Brian
Brian rated it it was ok
Sep 28, 2007
Matt
Matt rated it really liked it
Mar 26, 2007
Vernon
Vernon rated it it was amazing
Sep 11, 2014
Judah
Judah rated it really liked it
Feb 20, 2012
Angelica
Angelica rated it it was amazing
Feb 07, 2010
John Daut
John Daut rated it really liked it
Oct 06, 2014
Israel
Israel rated it really liked it
Oct 02, 2013
Dawn
Dawn rated it it was amazing
Feb 08, 2012
Marc
Marc rated it really liked it
Jul 27, 2007
Justine
Justine rated it it was ok
Apr 24, 2010
Leigh
Leigh rated it liked it
Nov 23, 2013
Rosanne
Rosanne rated it liked it
Sep 21, 2007
Matt
Matt rated it really liked it
Aug 14, 2014
Ken Perkins
Ken Perkins rated it really liked it
Feb 09, 2009
Bucket
Bucket rated it really liked it
Feb 09, 2012
Daniel
Daniel rated it it was ok
Jan 08, 2008
Jens
Feb 26, 2008 Jens rated it it was amazing
I gave this to my family.
Heath
Heath rated it liked it
Nov 28, 2007
Aaron Button
Aaron Button rated it liked it
May 06, 2009
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Populist Moment: A Short History of the Agrarian Revolt in America
  • Liberty and Power: The Politics of Jacksonian America
  • The True and Only Heaven: Progress and Its Critics
  • No Sense of Place: The Impact of Electronic Media on Social Behavior
  • Big Trouble: A Murder in a Small Western Town Sets off a Struggle for the Soul of America
  • All the Truth Is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid
  • The American Political Tradition and the Men Who Made It
  • The Bush Tragedy
  • Reaching for Glory: Lyndon Johnson's Secret White House Tapes 1964-65
  • The Liberal Tradition in America
  • Blind Into Baghdad: America's War in Iraq
  • The Whole Equation: A History of Hollywood
  • The End of Victory Culture: Cold War America and the Disillusioning of a Generation
  • Many Are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America
  • Alexis de Tocqueville
  • How The World Was Won: The Americanization of Everywhere
  • Freaks of Fortune: The Emerging World of Capitalism and Risk in America
  • Voices of Protest: Huey Long, Father Coughlin & the Great Depression

Share This Book