The Vital Center: The Politics Of Freedom (Da Capo Paperback)

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9780306803239: The Vital Center: The Politics Of Freedom (Da Capo Paperback)

With a new introduction by the author The Vital Center is an eloquent and incisive defense of liberal democracy against its rivals to the left and to the right, communism and fascism. It shows how the failures of free society had led to the mass escape from freedom and sharpened the appeal of totalitarian solutions. It calls for a radical reconstruction of the democratic faith based on a realistic understanding of human limitation and frailty.

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About the Author:

Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. is the author of several fundamental works on American history, including The Age of Jackson, The Age of Roosevelt, Robert Kennedy and His Times, and the Cycles of American History.

Review:

“Schlesinger solidified his position as the spokesman for postwar liberalism with his book The Vital Center. Inspired by the Protestant theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, he argued that pragmatic, reform-minded liberalism, limited in scope, was the best that man could hope for politically.”

The New York Times

 

"The Vital Center presents a searching analysis of contemporary American and world politics in the midst of rivalries between democratic liberalism and the proselyting sweeps of communism and fascism. By cutting through evolving fears and confusion at home and abroad, it endeavors to arouse democratic faith with a new passion for impending conflicts. . . . A rare contribution to current political thought."

—W. M. Brewer, Journal of Negro History

"Thoughtful and thought-provoking study of 'the politics of freedom.'"

—Lois K. M. Rosenberry, Wisconsin Magazine of History

"In this stimulating book one of the leading American historians of the younger generation takes stock of the 'failure' of the right and the left in American politics. . . . This is a book which can be read with profit by all who would understand the 'politics of freedom.'"

—Clifton J. Child, International Affairs

"American lawyers—those who believe that freedom, the core of law, must protect equally rich and poor, right and left, white and black—will find in The Vital Center a brilliant analysis of the forces that threaten freedom and the struggle that must be waged in its defense if democracy is to survive."

—Joseph L. Rauh, Jr., Harvard Law Review

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Arthur M. Jr." Schlesinger
Published by Da Capo Press (1988)
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