Cover image for The divided mind of American liberalism
Title:
The divided mind of American liberalism
Author:
Hurtgen, James R., 1946-
ISBN:
9780739103203
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Publication Information:
Lanham, Md. : Lexington Books, c2002.
Physical Description:
x, 151 p.
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Book BILKUTUP0286474 JC574.2.U6 H87 2002 Central Campus Library
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Summary

Summary

The Divided Mind of American Liberalism reveals the crisis at the heart of modern American liberalism. James Hurtgen's historical narrative traces the liberal movement through three periods of reform: the progressive movement, the New Deal, and the Great Society. Drawing on the views of political activists, presidents, and theorists the work examines the tensions that resulted in the ideological disunion--based on deep and lasting divisions over the desirability of centralized political power--of the communitarian "decentralists" and individualist "modernist" wings of the liberal movement. It documents how a "modernist" willingness to accept properly reformed, nationally exercised power held sway through much of the century only to be supplanted in the sixties and early seventies by "decentralists," champions of local government as the ideal political unit. This superb study demonstrates the central role liberalism has played in modern American political development and lays bare a liberal movement thrown into crisis by competing theories of social order.