• Understanding the Leading Thinkers of the New American Right

    by Charles King

    The framework of integralist thought championed by Adrian Vermeule, Patrick Deneen and others argues for a view of the common good to supplant liberal individual rights as the core of a constitutional order. They claim to connect to intellectual traditions centuries old, but their claims of moral decline echo those of early 20th century eugenicists and nativists. 

  • What Has Black Lives Matter Achieved? A New Critique from the Left

    by Jay Caspian Kang

    Political scientist Cedric Johnson argues in a new book that protest movements have fixated on racial identity at the expense of making a broad critique of how policing defends an unequal and exploitative society and building a bigger coalition for change. Writer Jay Caspian Kang puts this argument in the context of debates about identity politics from the center to the left.

  • Why Can't the Democrats Build a Governing Majority? (Review of Timothy Shenk)

    by Kim Phillips-Fein

    In an implicit response to Richard Hofstadter's finding of the continuity of a narrow "American Political Tradition," Timothy Shenk examines the ways that activists have occasionally disrupted the political order and convinced people to "take a leap into an unknown future."

  • Ted Kennedy Bios Show Liberalism's Trials, and its Necessity

    by David Masciotra

    As liberalism is under attack from the right and from a growing left, the author argues that recent biographies of Ted Kennedy illustrate the imperfections and trials of the idea, but show it's still the best option for organizing a free and fair society.

  • No, Liberal Historians Can't Tame Nationalism

    by Eran Zelnik

    Liberal historians confronted with both right-wing nationalism and renewed "history wars" have tried to thread a needle by telling a positive story of nationalism. The author contends the exclusionary and belligerent aspects of nationalism can't be domesticated by surrounding them with the right narrative.

  • Can We Do Better than Liberal Democracy?

    by Adam Gopnik

    Critic Adam Gopnik examines two recent books on alternatives to representative democracy that respond to the recent use of institutions by power-seeking authoritarians. 

  • The Thrill of Teaching Mill

    by Samuel Goldman

    Mill was prescient in focusing attention not only on the restriction of speech by the state, but on the cultural and social obstacles to dissenting opinion.

  • The Bad Guys are Winning: The 21st Century Reversal of Liberalism

    by Anne Applebaum

    "Nowadays, autocracies are run not by one bad guy, but by sophisticated networks composed of kleptocratic financial structures, security services (military, police, paramilitary groups, surveillance), and professional propagandists."

  • Why a Liberal Education is Worth Defending

    by Steve Mintz

    Roosevelt Montas’s forthcoming "Rescuing Socrates: How the Great Books Changed My Life and Why They Matter for a New Generation" makes a powerful case for engagment with the Great Books as a way to subvert hierarchies and promote equity. 

  • Liberal Democracy is Worth a Fight

    by Anne Applebaum

    "In the real world, the battle to defend liberal democracy is sometimes a real battle, a military battle, not merely an ideological battle."

  • Review Essay: Freedom for Whom?

    by Michael Mirer

    Two recent books, by Tyler Stovall and Annelien De Dijn, interrogate the history of the idea of freedom and the question of whether western liberal democracy can be freed from its historical roots in exclusion and domination of others. 

  • The Liberals Who Weakened Trust in Government

    by Kim Phillips-Fein

    Historian Kim Phillips-Fein writes that Paul Sabin's new book "Public Citizens" adds to understanding of the rise of conservatism and the power of attacks on "big government" by focusing on the role of liberal public interest groups in exposing the capture of the liberal regulatory state by big business interests. 

  • Social Fissures have Made Building a Broad Liberal Coalition Hard for 50 Years

    by Steven M. Gillon

    Hostility toward the welfare state, frequently driven by the idea that government programs unfairly benefit minorities at the expense of whites, has prevented the Democratic party from consolidating a political majority for decades. Worshipping fallen heroes like Robert Kennedy obscures the political work needed to build and keep a coalition.

  • Joe Biden, the Reverse Ronald Reagan

    Is the Biden administration's response to the crises affecting America more than a collection of programs and initiatives? Is the Democratic party moving to firmly repudiate Ronald Reagan's quip that "government is the problem"? 

  • Runaway American Dreams

    by Dennis M. Hogan

    What does it say about American liberalism that it's cultural tribune, Bruce Springsteen, is doing a corporate-sponsored podcast with the former President of the United States? 

  • Emmanuel Macron’s Socially Constructed Bogeymen

    by Daniel W. Drezner

    What, exactly, "Islamo-leftism" is, and what relationship it could possibly have to American academic theories, are two big questions left unanswered by the French President's attacks on academic ideas.