THE DECLINE OF AMERICAN LIBERALISM by Arthur A. Jr. Ekirch

THE DECLINE OF AMERICAN LIBERALISM

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Maintaining that liberalism has not only fallen into temporary desuetude but been defeated since its inception in this country, Prof. Ekirch of the American University takes a position close to Parrington's, in basic defiance of most other historians. Everything depends on the definition of liberal. The term is used here as stemming from the original concept of individualism and signifies a ""habit of mind"" and general rebelliousness toward herd politics. Prof. Ekirch demonstrates how the interests of centralized government and routinized living have caused the death of liberal principles, the confusing of true liberalism with state-purposeful acts of social progress. Jeffersonian and Jacksonian democracy ended in Lincoln's wartime methods of repression, in Wilson's efforts to gain naval mastery after waging a war to end wars, in the concentration camp techniques with the Nisei under Roosevelt. The imprisonment of Debs like the mass arrest of conscientious objectors became examples of cumulative pressure. A dismaying but closely reasoned book, meaty enough to provide ample discussion.

Publisher: Longmans, Green