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The Strange Death of American Liberalism
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The Strange Death of American Liberalism

3.33 of 5 stars 3.33  ·  rating details  ·  30 ratings  ·  2 reviews
This work focuses on the sea change in American politics from the 1960s to the 21st century, from a time when liberals created bold government programmes to solve important social problems, to contemporary distrust of government and rejection of liberal ideals. H.W. Brands delineates the intimate connection between the rise of postwar liberalism and the emergence of the Co ...more
Paperback, 218 pages
Published September 10th 2003 by Yale University Press (first published 2001)
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John Kaufmann
As a lifelong liberal/progressive, I'm always interested in books and ideas about why Americans took a conservative turn after the Kennedy-Johnson era. This book provides another take on it. Brands posits that government has always grown during times of War, but contracted shortly after. Government involvement in domestic affairs seems to be a corollary of increased government involvement in international affairs. After WWII, government did not shrink back. Instead, we entered the Cold War, whic ...more
Peter Mcloughlin
The cold war and WWII are the reasons according to Brands are the reasons for liberalisms ascendancy in the middle of the twentieth century. It was the fiasco of Vietnam, Watergate and the easing of cold war tensions in the seventies that had Americans return to their default position of skepticism about the government and ended liberalisms reign. The necessities of federal expansion during crises like warfare brings about liberal politics while peacetime business as usual conditions generaly w ...more
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Henry William Brands was born in Portland, Oregon, where he lived until he went to California for college. He attended Stanford University and studied history and mathematics. After graduating he became a traveling salesman, with a territory that spanned the West from the Pacific to Colorado. His wanderlust diminished after several trips across the Great Basin, and he turned to sales of a differen ...more
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