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As he tours the follies of the Left, Nick Cohen asks us to consider what it means to be liberal in this confused and topsy-turvy time.
"What's Left? employs a thoroughly in-house approach in which self-identified liberal Catholics examine various facets of liberal Catholicism.... this book explores some of the most prominent threads of leftist Catholic aspiration and dissent." —Choice What's Left? is the most comprehensive study to date of liberal American Catholics in the generation following the second Vatican council (1962-65). The main features of liberal American Catholicism—feminist theology and practice, contested issues of sexual conduct, new social locations of academic theology, liturgy, spirituality, ministry, race and ethnicity, and public Catholicism—are presented here in their historical and social contexts.
Rossinow revisits the period between the 1880s and the 1940s, when reformers and radicals worked together along a middle path between the revolutionary left and establishment liberalism. He takes the story up to the present, showing how the progressive connection was lost and explaining the consequences that followed.
The financial crisis seemed to present a fundamental challenge to neo liberalism, the body of ideas that have constituted the political orthodoxy of most advanced economies in recent decades. Colin Crouch argues in this book that it will shrug off this challenge. The reason is that while neo liberalism seems to be about free markets, in practice it is concerned with the dominance over public life of the giant corporation. This has been intensified, not checked, by the recent financial crisis and acceptance that certain financial corporations are ‘too big to fail'. Although much political debate remains preoccupied with conflicts between the market and the state, the impact of the corporation on both these is today far more important. Several factors have brought us to this situation: The lobbying power of firms whose donations are of growing importance to cash-hungry politicians and parties The weakening of competitive forces by firms large enough to shape and dominate their markets The moral initiative that is grasped by enterprises that devise their own agendas of corporate social responsibility Both democratic politics and the free market are weakened by these processes, but they are largely inevitable and not always malign. Hope for the future, therefore, cannot lie in suppressing them in order to attain either an economy of pure markets or a socialist society. Rather it lies in dragging the giant corporation fully into political controversy.
In The Collapse of Liberalism, noted political scientist Charles Noble takes liberalism to task for not being radical enough for what he sees as a long history of how liberalism has accommodated the very economic institutions and corporate actors it has wanted to challenge. As a result, Noble argues, liberals have been unable or unwilling to confront directly class, race, gender, inequality, and corporate power. Clear, engaging, and thought-provoking, The Collapse of Liberalism is a politically engaged interrogation of the way American liberals think about social problems and build political coalitions."
From the much-loved, witty and excoriating voice of journalist Nick Cohen, a powerful and irreverent dissection of the agonies, idiocies and compromises of mainstream liberal thought.

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