Know any non-fiction works on the end of American liberalism?
July 19, 2010 6:11 PM   Subscribe

Know any non-fiction works, books preferred but online/journal/paper articles too, on the end of American liberalism?

The perspective I'm looking for would, I would imagine amongst other related events, involve the Reagan Revolution, McCarthy(ism), and Chomsky's note that Nixon was our last liberal president. What I'm aiming at is an explanation or discussion on a shift, either gradual or sharp, that occurred in America which saw the reputation of unions and the overall Left ideology reverse from a positive to negative standing.
posted by SollosQ to Society & Culture (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Best answer: How about The End of Liberalism by Theodore Lowi? It's not new, but it's been very influential to a generation of political scientists grasping both the goals (ends) of New Deal liberalism and efforts to kill (end) it. Very smart and well written -- a great place to start if you don't mind reading a foundational text instead of the very latest.

Rick Perlstein's two books, Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus and Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America are the recent heavyweight books on this topic.

These three books are in line with a spread of political science thinking that New Deal liberalism was mortally wounded in the 1960s and 1970s -- that this was a necessary condition to get Ronald Reagan elected, not a consequence of that election -- and that three to four decades of neoconservatism is nearing the same fate today.
posted by gum at 8:18 PM on July 19, 2010

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