The Lost History Of Liberalism (eBook)
From Ancient Rome To The Twenty-First Century
Sobre o livro
The changing face of the liberal creed from the ancient world to today
The Lost History of Liberalism challenges our most basic assumptions about a political creed that has become a rallying cryand a term of derisionin todays increasingly divided public square. Taking readers from ancient Rome to today, Helena Rosenblatt traces the evolution of the words liberal and liberalism, revealing the heated debates that have taken place over their meaning.
In this timely and provocative book, Rosenblatt debunks the popular myth of liberalism as a uniquely Anglo-American tradition centered on individual rights. She shows that it was the French Revolution that gave birth to liberalism and Germans who transformed it. Only in the mid-twentieth century did the concept become widely known in the United Statesand then, as now, its meaning was hotly debated. Liberals were originally moralists at heart. They believed in the power of religion to reform society, emphasized the sanctity of the family, and never spoke of rights without speaking of duties. It was only during the Cold War and Americas growing world hegemony that liberalism was refashioned into an American ideology focused so strongly on individual freedoms.
Today, we still cant seem to agree on liberalisms meaning. In the United States, a liberal is someone who advocates big government, while in France, big government is contrary to liberalism. Political debates become befuddled because of semantic and conceptual confusion.The Lost History of Liberalism sets the record straight on a core tenet of todays political conversation and lays the foundations for a more constructive discussion about the future of liberal democracy.