Magazine August 28, 2017, Issue

The New Manichaeans

(Giammarco Boscaro/Unsplash)
The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics, by Mark Lilla (Harper, 160 pp., $24.99)

In November 2016, Mark Lilla, the humanities scholar, published an essay, “The End of Identity Liberalism,” in the New York Times. “In recent years,” he wrote, “American liberalism has slipped into a kind of moral panic about racial, gender and sexual identity that has distorted liberalism’s message and prevented it from becoming a unifying force capable of governing.”

The reaction of many liberals to Lilla’s piece was disheartening. Writing in The Los Angeles Review of Books, Columbia law professor Katherine Franke compared Lilla to David Duke: Both were pledged “to the same ideological project, the [one] cloaked in a KKK hood,

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



Books, Arts & Manners




College as Experiment Oren Cass makes a strong case (“Teaching to the Rest,” July 31) that many of today’s high-school students would be better off taking career training instead of college ...
The Week

The Week

‐ Looks like Google dropped its “Don’t be evil” motto just in time. ‐ The personnel crises of the Trump administration are like groupies: There are so many, who can remember ...


AMONG OTHERS Working alone in the house, I look to the solitary sculls passing on the river for a sense that I am among others. The geese— my dogs—convene in the yard near the water. A summer in ...