Noted historian, professor at Columbia University, and winner of the American Book Award for History, Alan Brinkley has collected 17 essays written over the past two decades for Liberalism and Its Discontents
. The assembled essays constitute a very informed, well-written, and engaging look at major issues in 20th-century American history. Beginning with Roosevelt and the New Deal, Brinkley is able to focus on major characters and trends while also exploring some very interesting side roads. Along with essays on major themes (such as the New Deal or the legacy of World War II), he brings his considerable insight and writing ability to an analysis of modern political conventions and to profiles of characters as diverse as Allard Lowenstein and Oral Roberts. Written in a lucid and entertaining style, this is serious history that is a pleasure to read. --Robert McNamara
From Library Journal
In this collection of essays, Brinkley (history, Columbia Univ.; The Transformation of New Deal Liberalism, LJ 3/15/95) explores the evolution of modern liberalism from its ascendance under the New Deal to the present day. Although the essays have appeared in other publications, each chapter flows naturally to the next, without the disjointedness that often characterizes this type of publication. In addition to Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal, the author also provides fascinating insights into lesser-known figures such as the enigmatic John J. McCloy and the stern Henry Stimson. Of special interest to historians is Brinkley's brilliant tour of 20th-century American historiography, with chapters on Richard Hofstadter and T. Harry Williams. The author also provides a graceful, perceptive analysis of the rise of American conservatism since World War II. These essays represent the work of a prominent American historian in his prime, and each one is a gem. Highly recommended.?Edward Goedeken, Iowa State Univ. Lib., Ames
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