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What's Left of Liberalism

- Abstract

I have on my shelf a book that bears the subtitle, “The Failure of American Liberalism.” A collection of essays and documents aimed at redefining and rescuing a creed, this book, whose main title is The Great Society Reader, was published in 1967.

American liberals, then, have been recovering from the Failure of American Liberalism for quite some time now. In 1969, the political scientist Theodore Lowi declared “The End of Liberalism” (he meant that it was being replaced by technocracy). During the 1970′s or 80′s, a publisher’s list might have included, in the fall, a redefinition by Robert Lekachman, and then two more in the spring by Robert Kuttner or Michael Harrington under titles like The New Liberalism or The Next Left. In 1983, Amory Lovins, Theodore Roszak, Richard J. Bar-net, and others contributed to a collection called Rethinking Liberalism.

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