The Strange Death of American Liberalism

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9780300098242: The Strange Death of American Liberalism

In this provocative book, H. W. Brands confronts the vital question of why an ever-increasing number of Americans do not trust the federal government to improve their lives and to heal major social ills. How is it that government has come to be seen as the source of many of our problems, rather than the potential means of their solution? How has the word liberal become a term of abuse in American political discourse?

From the Revolution on, argues Brands, Americans have been chronically skeptical of their government. This book succinctly traces this skepticism, demonstrating that it is only during periods of war that Americans have set aside their distrust and looked to their government to defend them. The Cold War, Brands shows, created an extended―and historically anomalous―period of dependence, thereby allowing for the massive expansion of the American welfare state. Since the 1970s, and the devastating blow dealt to Cold War ideology by America’s defeat in Vietnam, Americans have returned to their characteristic distrust of government. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Brands contends, the fate of American liberalism was sealed―and we continue to live with the consequences of its demise.

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From the Back Cover:

"A brilliant autopsy of a dearly departed American political tradition. . . . Provocative." -Kirkus Reviews; "Consistently interesting. . . . A useful tonic to liberals who underestimate the difficulty of passing new government programs."-Nicholas Lemann, Washington Monthly; "Brands' work contributes mightily to the discussion of what liberalism is. He succeeds with great verve and style."-David Turner, Raleigh News and Observer

About the Author:

H.W. Brands, Distinguished Professor and Melbern G. Glasscock Chair in American History, Texas A&M University, is also the author of The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin and The Age of Gold: The California Gold Rush and the New American Dream.

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H. W. Brands
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Book Description Yale University Press, United States, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.In this provocative book, H. W. Brands confronts the vital question of why an ever-increasing number of Americans do not trust the federal government to improve their lives and to heal major social ills. How is it that government has come to be seen as the source of many of our problems, rather than the potential means of their solution? How has the word liberal become a term of abuse in American political discourse? From the Revolution on, argues Brands, Americans have been chronically skeptical of their government. This book succinctly traces this skepticism, demonstrating that it is only during periods of war that Americans have set aside their distrust and looked to their government to defend them. The Cold War, Brands shows, created an extended-and historically anomalous-period of dependence, thereby allowing for the massive expansion of the American welfare state. Since the 1970s, and the devastating blow dealt to Cold War ideology by America s defeat in Vietnam, Americans have returned to their characteristic distrust of government.With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Brands contends, the fate of American liberalism was sealed-and we continue to live with the consequences of its demise. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780300098242

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H. W. Brands
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Book Description Yale University Press, United States, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. In this provocative book, H. W. Brands confronts the vital question of why an ever-increasing number of Americans do not trust the federal government to improve their lives and to heal major social ills. How is it that government has come to be seen as the source of many of our problems, rather than the potential means of their solution? How has the word liberal become a term of abuse in American political discourse? From the Revolution on, argues Brands, Americans have been chronically skeptical of their government. This book succinctly traces this skepticism, demonstrating that it is only during periods of war that Americans have set aside their distrust and looked to their government to defend them. The Cold War, Brands shows, created an extended-and historically anomalous-period of dependence, thereby allowing for the massive expansion of the American welfare state. Since the 1970s, and the devastating blow dealt to Cold War ideology by America s defeat in Vietnam, Americans have returned to their characteristic distrust of government. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Brands contends, the fate of American liberalism was sealed-and we continue to live with the consequences of its demise. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780300098242

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