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Liberalism in the shadow of totalitarianism
Ciepley, David.
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Publication Information:
Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 2006.
Physical Description:
x, 379 p. ; 25 cm.


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Book BILKUTUP0309223 JC574.2.U6 C54 2006 Central Campus Library

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This book argues that, more than any other factor, it was the encounter with totalitarianism that dissolved the ideals of American progressivism and crystallized the ideals of postwar liberalism. The New Deal began as a revolution in favor of progressive governance--executive-centered and expert-guided. But as David Ciepley shows, by the late 1930s, intellectuals and elites, reacting against the menace of totalitarianism, began to shrink from using state power to guide the economy or foster citizen virtues. All of the more statist governance projects of the New Deal were curtailed or abandoned, regardless of success, and the country placed on a more libertarian-corporatist trajectory, both economically and culturally. In economics, attempts to reorient industry from private profit to public use were halted, and free enterprise was reaffirmed. In politics, the ideal of governance by a strong, independent executive was rejected--along with notions of "central planning," "social control," and state imposition of "values"--and a politics of contending interest groups was embraced. In law, the encounter with totalitarianism brought an end to judicial deference, the embrace of civil rights and civil liberties, and the neutralist reinterpretation, and radicalization, of both. Finally, in culture, the encounter sowed the seeds of our own era--the era of the culture wars--in which traditional America has been mobilized against these liberal legal advances, and against the entire neutralist, "relativist," "secular humanist" reinterpretation of America that accompanies them.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
I State-Building before the Totalitarian Encounter
1 An Exceptional Beginningp. 37
2 Social Science, Progressivism, and the Statep. 56
II Totalitarianism and the Economy: The Renaissance of Free Enterprise
3 A Unique Economic Pathp. 81
4 The Quest for a Cooperative Commonwealth: NRA and AAAp. 98
5 Two Roads to the Development State: TVA and NRPBp. 116
6 Totalitarianism and the Scuttling of the Development Statep. 129
7 The Retreat from Cooperation to Fiscal Compensationp. 146
8 Totalitarianism and the National Security Statep. 164
III Totalitarianism and Democratic Politics: The Rise of Interest Group Pluralism
9 Democracy and the "Values" Questionp. 183
10 Envisioning Interest Group Pluralismp. 194
11 Interest Group Pluralism Institutionalizedp. 217
IV Totalitarianism and the Court: From Higher Law to Neutrality
12 Totalitarianism and the Rediscovery of Civil Libertiesp. 231
13 The Rise and Fall of Judicial Review before World War IIp. 252
14 The Neutrality Ideal Comes to Courtp. 262
15 Neutrality and the Due Process Revolutionp. 280
16 Neutrality, Civil Liberty, and the Culture Warsp. 301
Conclusion: The Dysfunctions of Antitotalitarian Liberalismp. 315
Notesp. 327
Indexp. 369