Magazine September 8, 2014, Issue

The Decline of Liberal History

The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan, by Rick Perlstein (Simon & Schuster, 880 pp., $37.50)

It is the thesis of Rick Perlstein’s book that the United States, circa 1970, was on the verge of a moral and political breakthrough. Perlstein compares the nascent revolution in sentiment to the French Enlightenment, that “sweeping eighteenth-century intellectual-cum-political movement,” he writes, which saw “all settled conceptions of society thrown up in the air, which introduced radical new notions of liberty and dignity, dethroned God, and made human reason the new measure of moral worth — a little like the 1960s and ’70s.”

In Perlstein’s telling, the advocates of the new American enlightenment stood ready to rouse their fellow citizens from

Michael Knox Beran — Mr. Beran is a lawyer and writer. His book WASPs: The Splendors and Miseries of an American Aristocracy is to be published this year.

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

A Party for All

When Rand Paul first ran for the Senate in 2010, it was far from obvious that he’d become the GOP’s chief ambassador to African-American voters. Shortly after besting an establishment-backed ...

Features

Politics & Policy

The Gridlock Clause

Since 2010, when the Democrats lost their majority in the House and their filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, President Obama’s ability to pursue legislative changes has ground to a halt. ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Weed-Whacking

Conservative book sales are dropping, according to some recent reports. But Jim Geraghty’s latest work may just usher in a resurgence — by providing a new model of fresh, fun, ...
Politics & Policy

A Salzburg Quartet

Salzburg, Austria — The Vienna Philharmonic is the king orchestra here: the resident orchestra, the nightly orchestra. But there are guests, including the Philharmonia Orchestra. This is a London group, ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Baseball Legends An item in “The Week” (August 11) makes fun, with good reason, of Major League Baseball’s new “ambassador for inclusion” of “people of diversity.” The item states that “there’s ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Nixon and race riots in the news — the Left must be feeling nostalgic. ‐ President Obama won’t be boasting about, to use his terms, “restarting” the Iraq War, but ...
Athwart

License to Breed

You know you’re reading a British website when you see the word “foetus,” and you know you’re reading a leftist writer when the article is about banning the squirmy little ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

O’NEILL AND THE SEA I. The greatest metaphor of them all In the end stands only for the rise and fall Of itself. The tides, boats and sailors, Even the seagulls, symbolize the great substitution Of ...

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