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Thinking Politically: A Liberal in the Age of Ideology Paperback – January 1, 1997

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French

About the Author

Raymond Aron (1905-1983) was the foremost political and social theorist of post-World War II France known for his skeptical analyses of leftist ideologies. was well known in both the United States and United Kingdom, serving as Andrew D. White Professor-At-Large at Cornell University. He also taught at Columbia and Oxford.  He authored more than forty books, including Main Currents in Sociological Thought, The Opium of the Intellectuals,and The Imperial Republic, all published in new editions by Transaction.

Brian C. Anderson is senior editor at City Journal and author of Raymond Aron: The Recovery of the Political.

Daniel J. Mahoney is chair and professor of political science at Assumption College, Worcester, Massachusetts. He was the recipient of the Prix Raymond Aron Award, is currently associate editor of Perspectives on Political Science, and is book review editor of Society. His books include The Liberal Political Science of Raymond Aron; Bertrand de Jouvenel: The Conservative Liberal and the Illusions of Modernity; and De Gaulle: Statesmanship, Grandeur, and Modern Democracy.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 347 pages
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers; Reprint edition (January 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560009349
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560009344
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,223,064 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is what liberalism ment to be, this is a real liberal.
"I was a socialist as long as I had not studied political economy", states Raymond Aron and that is just the begining of a wonderful and objective radiography of the agitated periods Aron lived through. We find here one of the first warnings on the extreme social(ist) measures the western states were starting to implement, the first signs of liberalism going to far to the left, the need for at least a hint of Machiavellism especially when dealing with international crisis.
Interesting insights in France of WWII, de Gaulle, Alger, Indochina and all the intriguing power plays of that time.
And finaly this :
"The democratic state is suffering from an obvious contradiction. One the one hand it undertakes extensive intervention in the economic and social structure; on the other, its authority is relatively small, because every organized group, every trade union, every party has at its disposal ways and means of paralyzing it. The same people who protest against the state want everyhting from it."
"We live in societies controlled by economic interests in which it is very difficult to persuade people to sacrifice much, if not everything, to safeguard liberty. Democracy and prosperity are always identified whith each other. Prosperity is, to be sure, a good thing, but it quite often demands sacrifices too. The people of the Western democracies are not willing to make those sacrifices. That constitues another striking moral contradiction of the democratic system. Democracy is morally superior to despotism not because, say, its economic system is better or because it is more creative and generally productive, but because it comes up with better human beings".
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