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Title:
Bleak liberalism
Author:
Anderson, Amanda, 1960- author
ISBN:
9780226923529

9780226923512
Physical Description:
x, 171 pages ; 23 cm
Contents:
Introduction -- Bleak liberalism -- Liberalism in the age of high realism -- Revisiting the political novel -- The liberal aesthetic in the postwar era: the case of Trilling and Adorno -- Bleak liberalism and the realism/modernism debate: Ellison and Lessing
Abstract:
Why is liberalism so often dismissed by thinkers from both the left and the right? To those calling for wholesale transformation or claiming a monopoly on "realistic" conceptions of humanity, liberalism's assured progressivism can seem hard to swallow. Bleak Liberalism makes the case for a renewed understanding of the liberal tradition, showing that it is much more attuned to the complexity of political life than conventional accounts have acknowledged. Anderson examines canonical works of high realism, political novels from England and the United States, and modernist works to argue that liberalism has engaged sober and even stark views of historical development, political dynamics, and human and social psychology. From Charles Dickens's Bleak House and Hard Times to E. M. Forster's Howards End to Doris Lessing's The Golden Notebook, this literature demonstrates that liberalism has inventive ways of balancing sociological critique and moral aspiration. A deft blend of intellectual history and literary analysis, Bleak Liberalism reveals a richer understanding of one of the most important political ideologies of the modern era.
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Book 0346167 PS374.L42 A53 2016 Central Campus Library
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Summary

Summary

Why is liberalism so often dismissed by thinkers from both the left and the right? To those calling for wholesale transformation or claiming a monopoly on "realistic" conceptions of humanity, liberalism's assured progressivism can seem hard to swallow. Bleak Liberalism makes the case for a renewed understanding of the liberal tradition, showing that it is much more attuned to the complexity of political life than conventional accounts have acknowledged.

Amanda Anderson examines canonical works of high realism, political novels from England and the United States, and modernist works to argue that liberalism has engaged sober and even stark views of historical development, political dynamics, and human and social psychology. From Charles Dickens's Bleak House and Hard Times to E. M. Forster's Howards End to Doris Lessing's The Golden Notebook , this literature demonstrates that liberalism has inventive ways of balancing sociological critique and moral aspiration. A deft blend of intellectual history and literary analysis, Bleak Liberalism reveals a richer understanding of one of the most important political ideologies of the modern era.


Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
1 Bleak Liberalismp. 18
2 Liberalism in the Age of High Realismp. 46
3 Revisiting the Political Novelp. 78
4 The Liberal Aesthetic in the Postwar Era: The Case of Trilling and Adornop. 99
5 Bleak Liberalism and the Realism/Modernism Debate: Ellison and Lessingp. 115
Notesp. 143
Bibliographyp. 157
Indexp. 165
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