A Thousand Small Sanities

A Thousand Small Sanities

The Moral Adventure of Liberalism

eBook - 2019
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The New York Times-bestselling author offers a stirring defense of liberalism against the dogmatisms of our time Not since the early twentieth century has liberalism, and liberals, been under such relentless attack, from both right and left. The crisis of democracy in our era has produced a crisis of faith in liberal institutions and, even worse, in liberal thought. A Thousand Small Sanities is a manifesto rooted in the lives of people who invented and extended the liberal tradition. Taking us from Montaigne to Mill, and from Middlemarch to the civil rights movement, Adam Gopnik argues that liberalism is not a form of centrism, nor simply another word for free markets, nor merely a term denoting a set of rights. It is something far more ambitious: the search for radical change by humane measures. Gopnik shows us why liberalism is one of the great moral adventures in human history—and why, in an age of autocracy, our lives may depend on its continuation.
Publisher: 2019
ISBN: 9781541699458
Branch Call Number: e-book
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Alternative Title: Library2Go


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Oct 28, 2019

Adam Gopnik reminds us of why it is important
to read as he takes us on his philosophical journey
of why liberalism matters.
Ignoring the red flags of today’s creeping demagoguery
promises ugly historical repeats, when the solutions are
Right in front of us.
If you liked the stern lessons from Jonathan Metzl’s Dying Of Whiteness
this will smartly arm you against the nasty bumper sticker re-tweeters
And their hero in chief.

Oct 17, 2019

In this compact and enjoyable book Adam Gopnik (an American with Canadian roots) provides an interesting definition of (small L) liberalism, and a description of its historical development, in part through short stories centred on the lives of influential historical figures among the philosophers, journalists, scientists, intellectual and political leaders, particularly over a short but very impactful period of great change from 1859-1872. In so doing he further characterized liberalism and illustrates why it is such an important tradition, that has given us many of the rights and freedoms that we largely take for granted, along with the institutions designed to preserve them. He then proceeds to explain first why the right hates liberalism and then why the left hates liberalism, in both cases making clear the dangers of allowing either extreme to have their way. On the whole this book is a hopeful but cautionary tale. The reader should come away with a clearer understanding of what liberalism is and is not, and what is at stake if we start to lose the institutions that it has built, some of which are quite fragile at the moment.

Jun 28, 2019

Looking forward to this book; Gopnick is brilliantly interviewed by Ezra Klein on one of his more recent Vox podcasts. Highly recommend this podcast. Gary Scharff 6.27.19

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