- Tapa dura: 488 páginas
- Editor: Princeton University Press (4 de mayo de 2014)
- Idioma: Inglés
- ISBN-10: 0691156891
- ISBN-13: 978-0691156897
- Valoración media de los clientes: Sé el primero en opinar sobre este producto
- Clasificación en los más vendidos de Amazon: nº223.857 en Libros en idiomas extranjeros (Ver el Top 100 en Libros en idiomas extranjeros)
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Liberalism: The Life of an Idea (Inglés) Tapa dura – 4 may 2014
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Honorable Mention for the 2015 PROSE Award in Government & Politics, Association of American Publishers "[A] richly informative historical tour of liberal leaders and concepts... [Fawcett] takes a commendably liberal approach."--Alan Wolfe, New York Times Book Review "[E]xcellent... What Fawcett clearly and compellingly shows is that the relationship of capitalism to the state, of economics to politics, should be at the heart of any history of liberal ideas. Whether you take his version as a story about liberalism's realist adaptability or its counterrevolutionary intent, it's a fitting one for a moment in which capitalism and political economy are back on the agenda."--Katrina Forrester, The Nation "Fawcett's workmanlike history of the bundle of ideas and practices that liberals have espoused since the Spanish liberales coined the term after the Napoleonic wars is an excellent guide to liberalism's rise and fall."--David Marquand, New Republic "[A] comprehensive, quirky, scholarly and personal exploration of one of the dominant ideas in political discourse... [T]his is a phenomenal work of research and synthesis... A pool of profound, rigorous research and thought that has no shallow end."--Kirkus Reviews "[Liberalism: The Life of an Idea] confirms the virtues of the disciplined generalist's approach to the exploration of politics. Deftly combining history, economic thought, and political theory, Fawcett has produced the sort of synoptic work that in our era is increasingly unlikely to come from universities... [It] not only draws on the practicing journalist's close observation of political affairs but also the educated person of letters' facility across many disciplines. The result is an engrossing narrative of liberalism's dramatic career--often lustrous but also marked by its share of delusion, hypocrisy, hubris, and tragedy."--Peter Berkowitz, Real Clear Politics "Liberalism by Edmund Fawcett is not only a gripping piece of intellectual history, it also equips the reader to understand today's threats--and how they might be withstood... Liberalism is indeed under siege. Those who would fortify the walls would do well to study the foundations. Mr Fawcett's book offers an admirable archaeology."--Economist "A book so good I want to read it again... [A]n intellectual page-turner made even more readable by its personal, sometimes quirky, style and its seamless mix of philosophy, history, biography and history of ideas."--David Goodhart, Standpoint "In Liberalism: The Life of an Idea, Fawcett draws on the experiences and ideas of dozen of thinkers and politicians in an informative, lively, and provocative history of a political tradition he deems 'worth standing up for.'... Fawcett's book is an immensely interesting, informative, and important assessment of liberalism... Liberalism is as relevant as ever, Fawcett concludes, passionately and persuasively."--Glenn C. Altschuler, Huffington Post "[An] impressive account of the 'life of an idea.'... [O]ne of the many virtues of Fawcett's unfailingly stimulating book is that he makes you look past the misleading labels with which we characterise political argument. For anyone interested in the history of the ideas that have shaped our society, his book is essential reading."--Simon Shaw, Mail on Sunday "[A] fine work of intellectual history that shows, among much else, that experience can shape ideas, too."--William Anthony Hay "[M]agnificent."--Bruce Edward Walker, Morning Sun "Fawcett has written a marvelous book... [H]is erudition would be daunting if he didn't write with such verve... [I]t's a pleasure."--Clive Crook, Bloomberg View "As Fawcett's compelling history reveals, the twentieth century turned out to be much more unstable and dangerous than the early liberals anticipated and has forced liberals ever since to temper their expectations for human betterment with a world-weary search for small steps that can keep the liberal international system on an upward trajectory."--Foreign Affairs "Liberalism is an important and worthwhile book."--Walter Moss, History News Network "This is a good and well-written book... [I]t is wide-ranging, informative, and independent in its judgments."--James Kalb, Chronicles "Fawcett expertly reveals [liberalism's] evolution, dead-ends, and permutations. A sprawling yarn that somehow remains utterly coherent and on-point, this is history at its very best."--Jeff Bloodworth, Gannon University, Cercles "A felicitous combination of wit and erudition."--Choice
Reseña del editor
Liberalism dominates today's politics just as it decisively shaped the past two hundred years of American and European history. Yet there is striking disagreement about what liberalism really means and how it arose. In this engrossing history of liberalism--the first in English for many decades--veteran political observer Edmund Fawcett traces the ideals, successes, and failures of this central political tradition through the lives and ideas of a rich cast of European and American thinkers and politicians, from the early nineteenth century to today. Using a broad idea of liberalism, the book discusses celebrated thinkers from Constant and Mill to Berlin, Hayek, and Rawls, as well as more neglected figures. Its twentieth-century politicians include Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, and Willy Brandt, but also Hoover, Reagan, and Kohl. The story tracks political liberalism from its beginnings in the 1830s to its long, grudging compromise with democracy, through a golden age after 1945 to the present mood of challenge and doubt. Focusing on the United States, Britain, France, and Germany, the book traces how the distinct traditions of these countries converged on the practice of liberal democracy. Although liberalism has many currents, Fawcett suggests that they are held together by shared commitments: resistance to power, faith in social progress, respect for people's chosen enterprises and beliefs, and acceptance that interests and faiths will always conflict. An enlightening account of a vulnerable but critically important political creed, Liberalism will be a revelation for readers who think they already know--for good or ill--what liberalism is.Ver Descripción del producto
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Liberty and equality. The story of liberalism is the story of humanity’s struggle between these two mutually desired, and often exclusive, outcomes. Liberty – to live an uncoerced life responsible only to ourselves, our consciences and our God. Equality – to not cling desperately on a hillside, naked babies playing at our feet while the rain pours through; squatting in squalor inside a self-engineered brick house, raw sewage running down the makeshift cement steps all the while gazing longingly below into the country clubs and garden parties of our betters.
This is what Edmund Fawcett’s audacious march through modern western history is about. Modern, not pre-modern, not post-modern. Liberalism is an idea that rests squarely in the realm of modernity; nation states and separate but equal powers and taxes; government programs and central banks and courts. All the systems that are fraying in our post-modern world.
It is very clear that Fawcett did his homework, and it would be despicable to throw rocks at so great a work of scholarship, so important a tome. He is in every sense a ‘liberal’, and does not use the word to paper over a multitude of sins as does the political variety of that tribe; and for that I am grateful. Nevertheless, there does remain some concern in my mind on issues of tone and focus, issues that I often debate with myself and others. Because, despite the extraordinary research presented in this tome, the question remains: Is liberalism a happy little nut to be found at the center of increasingly illiberal layers continuing out right and left until they arrive at totalitarianism of one or another extreme – or is in fact a continuum of degrees with totalitarian collectivism at one end of the spectrum and genuine ‘liberty’ at the other?
Edmund Fawcett is most obviously a ‘social democrat’, saving his most merciless contempt for what he calls the ‘hard right’, a term without definition but linked to certain conservative parties and movements in the United States. Given the tendency of ‘social democracy’ to slip easily these days out of the, oh let’s call it ‘consent of the governed’ – and into famine and death (modern Venezuela as only the most recent example) – I wonder if his criticism is not perhaps misplaced. Certainly any serious study of ‘liberalism’ that reduces Ayn Rand to ‘adolescent cult’ status and Ronald Reagan’s historic successes to ‘pushing at an open door’ risks a-priori alienating those liberals who see the philosophy of individualism and government restraint as central to their exercise of liberty; and conversely the social democratic philosophy of altruism and government overreach as too easily manipulated, especially in a post-modern world where the principles of ‘liberalism’ are not well grounded anymore in society. A world where, “After the collective highs of 1989, many liberals now worry whether liberal democracy can continue to work. They worry whether its inner tensions, once a strength, are not threatening to become a weakness. They worry whether liberal democracy is not losing its appeal.”
I have two main comments on this excellently researched and eloquently presented treatise. The first is that it focuses too much on individuals; and too many of those politicians or economists. Politicians follow philosophers and philosophers generally both create and then channel changing ideas in society; while many economists are notoriously deluded (Krugman, cough… cough…). Liberalism in the west was a result of ideological advances brought about by philosophical changes which have their roots in the renaissance, the industrial revolution, the mass-production of reading material and the dramatic increase in well-being and literacy following the end of the dark ages. This rebirth of philosophy set man, not nature nor God at the center of the human experience. Fawcett did not outline how this moved through art and literature and religion in a way that couched the advance of liberalism in its historical context. He could take as an example of how to do this from “The Cause of Hitler’s Germany.”
My second concern, related to the first, was that it was less a story about liberalism and more a chronological Rolodex of ‘liberals’; and again mostly politicians. Individuals who did feats great and small to advance the cause of liberal ideology; but not why, never outlining what was changing in the minds of men which allowed their work to have withstood the test of time. Taking this fact, along with the aforementioned concern that Fawcett leaned more on ‘social democrat’ politicians than others, means this book would best be read in tandem with “The Triumph of Liberty.” The ‘other side’ of the story, as it were.
All that to say, I am grateful for Fawcett for what must have been a herculean effort to deliver this awe-inspiring dissertation to print. He is obviously quite well-read and informed; and now so am I for having read his wonderful book. I highly recommend it, for those of you who love your liberty – who wonder where it came from – and who fear that we are losing it.