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Why We're Liberals: A Handbook for Restoring America's Most Important Ideals [Paperback]

Eric Alterman
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Alterman, journalist and proud liberal, readies his readership for the coming day when the word liberal is given a wash and rinse after being slimed by conservatives. Arguing that liberals are so downtrodden they may have forgotten who they are, Alterman provides a refresher course, explaining what liberals believe and why liberal policies are reviled, even though most people approve of their basic ideas as long as they aren’t identified as liberal. His insightful examination of so-called liberal problems (secularism, abortion, dovish foreign policy) leads into an extensive and sharp rebuttal of all the crimes attributed to liberals. In ironically entitled chapters—“Why Do Liberals Hate Patriotism?” “Why Do Liberals Blame America First?”—Alterman fights back with facts and wit. He busts myths in “Why Do Liberals Deny America Was Founded as a Christian Nation?” but he owns up to the fact that liberals do like to tax and spend (conservatives do, too, just on different things). Readers of Alterman’s What Liberal Media? (2003) will find some familiar points here, but this rock-’em, sock-’em defense effectively proves that not all liberals are wimps. --Ilene Cooper --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"It is difficult to imagine anyone better qualified to update Arthur Schlesinger Jr.'s notion of liberalism as the 'vital center' of American politics."
-The New York Times

"A vigorous defense of liberalism as a credo-a credo, Alterman argues persuasively, that most Americans actually subscribe to."
-The Atlantic

About the Author

Eric Alterman, media columnist for the Nation, is professor of English at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, senior fellow of the Center for American Progress, and “Altercation” weblogger for MSNBC.com. He is the author of five previous books, including The Book on Bush (with Mark Green), What Liberal Media? and Sound and Fury.

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