The Cause: The Fight for American Liberalism from Franklin Roosevelt to Barack Obama

The Cause: The Fight for American Liberalism from Franklin Roosevelt to Barack Obama

by Eric Alterman


View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


A major history of American liberalism and the key personalities behind the movement

Why is it that nearly every liberal initiative since the end of the New Deal—whether busing, urban development, affirmative action, welfare, gun control, or Roe v. Wade—has fallen victim to its grand aspirations, often exacerbating the very problem it seeks to solve? In this groundbreaking work, the first full treatment of modern liberalism in the United States, bestselling journalist and historian Eric Alterman together with Kevin Mattson present a comprehensive history of this proud, yet frequently maligned tradition. In The Cause, we meet the politicians, preachers, intellectuals, artists, and activists—from Eleanor Roosevelt to Barack Obama, Adlai Stevenson to Hubert Humphrey, and Billie Holiday to Bruce Springsteen—who have battled for the heart and soul of the nation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143121640
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/28/2013
Pages: 576
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Eric Alterman is the author of eight previous books, including the New York Times bestseller The Book on Bush and What Liberal Media? He lives in New York City.
Kevin Mattson is the Connor Study Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Ohio. He lives in Athens, Ohio.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Nothing to Fear 1

1 Henry, Harry, and Eleanor: Three Faces of Liberalism 15

2 "Scare Hell" 29

3 "The Self-Righteous Delusions of Innocence" 47

4 Patient, Firm, and Vigilant 66

5 The Best Years of Our Lives 88

6 The Two Joes 110

7 Eggheads in the Wilderness 127

8 We Shall Overcome 142

9 The Liberal Hour 156

10 Master of Disaster 183

11 Paranoia Strikes Deep in the Heartland 206

12 In the Darkness at the Edge of Town 236

13 Maximum Feasible Misunderstanding 263

14 "A Government as Good as Its People" 285

15 Where's the Beef? 317

16 A Place Called "Hope" 349

17 What's the Matter with America? 384

18 Hope and Change? 416

Conclusion: "The Only Honest Place to Be" 461

Notes 475

Index 543

Customer Reviews