When America Was Great: The Fighting Faith of Liberalism in Post-War America (Hardback)
  • When America Was Great: The Fighting Faith of Liberalism in Post-War America (Hardback)
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When America Was Great: The Fighting Faith of Liberalism in Post-War America (Hardback)

(author)
£34.99
Hardback 256 Pages / Published: 04/10/2004
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A sweeping intellectual history that will make us rethink postwar politics and culture, When America Was Great profiles the thinkers and writers who crafted a new American liberal tradition in a conservative era -- from historians Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and C. Vann Woodward, to economist John Kenneth Galbraith and theologian Reinhold Niebuhr.

A compelling tale that will redefine the word "liberal" for a new generation, Mattson retraces the intellectual journey of these towering figures. They served in the Second World War. They opposed communism but also wanted to make America's poor visible to the affluent society. Contrary to those who characterize liberals as naive or sentimental "bleeding hearts," they had a tough-minded and nuanced vision that stressed both human limitations and hope. They felt America should stand for something more than just a strong economy.

Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
ISBN: 9780415947756
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 544 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 22 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Kevin Mattson's When America Was Great demands our attention. His liberals - Niebuhr, Schlesinger, Galbraith, and others--fought for reform and a vital center against the conservatism of the postwar years. Mattson chronicles the programs, ideas, and personalities, without ignoring the problems, of these often-underappreciated liberals. Most importantly, his liberal tradition promises to be both relevant and necessary for us today."
-George Cotkin, Author of Existential America
"Kevin Mattson is one of the foremost historians reminding us of the forgotten importance of midcentury liberal values in the United States. This well-written volume is a valuable study of key thinkers at the time, most of whom have yet to receive such gifted assessment. Mattson's book arrives at an opportune time because some of the issues facing the liberals in this book are similar to what is being faced by Americans today: how best to preserve liberal freedom in the face of illiberal threats both from abroad and within
."
-Neil Jumonville, William Warren Rogers Professor of History, Florida State University and the author of Critical Crossings: The New York Intellectuals in Postwar America
"A learned, provocative case for the sound, reflective cause of liberalism in our age of unchallenged conservatism.
."
-John Patrick Diggins, Distinguished Professor of History and author of "The Rise and Fall of the American Left
"Those on the radical left and the conservative right have both shown a disdain for the liberalism professor Kevin Mattson shows a nostalgia for in the sophisticated "When America was Great: The Fighting Faith of Postwar Liberalism." In the new book from Routledge, Mattson writes of a group of intellectuals and leaders who embraced a pragmatic liberal vision for America, thinkers and doers like Arthur Schlessinger Jr. and Adlai Stevenson. Mattson stresses that America, which could learn so much from studying this intellectual history, is in danger of forgetting the movement all together.
."
-Chicago Free Press
"Thought-provoking and important, this work challenges us to reexamine what we were, what we have lost, and where we wish to go as a nation. If liberalism has become a dirty word in today's politics, Mattson demonstrates how the liberalism of the post-World War II generation shaped the course of American and world history, placing the United States at the center of world affairs.."
-Library Journal, November 15, 2004

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