Publisher description for When America was great : the fighting faith of postwar liberalism / Kevin Mattson.


Bibliographic record and links to related information available from the Library of Congress catalog


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In the midst of Eisenhower's America, at the peak of the Cold War, a movement of public intellectuals defined a pragmatic liberal vision for America that is more relevant today than ever before.

A sweeping intellectual history that will make us rethink postwar politics and culture, When America Was Great profiles the thinkers and writers who crafted a new American liberal tradition in a conservative era -- from historians Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and C. Vann Woodward, to economist John Kenneth Galbraith and theologian Reinhold Niebuhr.

A compelling tale that will redefine the word "liberal" for a new generation, Mattson retraces the intellectual journey of these towering figures. They served in the Second World War. They opposed communism but also wanted to make America's poor visible to the affluent society. Contrary to those who characterize liberals as nai;ve or sentimental "bleeding hearts," they had a tough-minded and nuanced vision that stressed both human limitations and hope. They felt America should stand for something more than just a strong economy.

When America Was Great envisions a bright liberal future for America grounded in the best of our past. A past that is in danger of being forgotten, but one that we would do well to remember and learn from.




Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Liberalism -- United States -- History -- 20th century.