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Death of the Liberal Class

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Death of the Liberal Class Cover

ISBN13: 9781568586441
ISBN10: 1568586442
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The liberal class plays a vital role in a democracy. It gives moral legitimacy to the state. It makes limited forms of dissent and incremental change possible. The liberal class posits itself as the conscience of the nation. It permits us, through its appeal to public virtues and the public good, to define ourselves as a good and noble people. Most importantly, on behalf of the power elite the liberal class serves as bulwarks against radical movements by offering a safety valve for popular frustrations and discontentment by discrediting those who talk of profound structural change. Once this class loses its social and political role then the delicate fabric of a democracy breaks down and the liberal class, along with the values it espouses, becomes an object of ridicule and hatred. The door that has been opened to proto-fascists has been opened by a bankrupt liberalism.

The Death of the Liberal Class examines the failure of the liberal class to confront the rise of the corporate state and the consequences of a liberalism that has become profoundly bankrupted. Hedges argues there are five pillars of the liberal establishment — the press, liberal religious institutions, labor unions, universities and the Democratic Party — and that each of these institutions, more concerned with status and privilege than justice and progress, sold out the constituents they represented. In doing so, the liberal class has become irrelevant to society at large and ultimately the corporate power elite they once served.

Review:

"In this tsunami of terrifying revelations, juxtaposed truths, and demonstrated facts, Hedges (War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning) argues that the traditional beacons of the liberal class-the universities, media, church, labor unions, and arts-have sacrificed themselves completely to the dominance of corporate greed and unbounded capitalism. We are all to blame and everything moral about our democracy stands to be lost-is indeed already vanishing, in Hedges's view-and those who draw attention to it are banished and booed. While every page erupts with calamities of the human spirit worthy of their own irate broadcasts and bull-horned fury, Hedges is at his best when he unpacks the density of his polemic and embraces the power of his narrative. Regardless of form, however, his most interesting theses include the parallel between the current domestic climate and the fall of Weimar Germany and the conclusion that 'Everything formed by violence is senseless and useless. It exists without a future. It leaves behind nothing but death, grief, and destruction.' These insights come not just as warning, but as witness. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright PWyxz LLC)

Synopsis:

The liberal class is facing an untimely demise of its own making. In this provocative new work Chris Hedges explains how liberals sold us out, bankrupted the country and now face a crisis of their own.

Synopsis:

For decades the liberal class was a defense against the worst excesses of power. But the pillars of the liberal class — the press, universities, the labor movement, the Democratic Party, and liberal religious institutions — have collapsed. In its absence, the poor, the working class, and even the middle class no longer have a champion.

In this searing polemic Chris Hedges indicts liberal institutions, including his former employer, the New York Times, who have distorted their basic beliefs in order to support unfettered capitalism, the national security state, globalization, and staggering income inequalities. Hedges argues that the death of the liberal class created a profound vacuum at the heart of American political life. And now speculators, war profiteers, and demagogues — from militias to the Tea Party — are filling the void.

About the Author

Chris Hedges, currently a senior fellow at The Nation Institute, a Lecturer in the Council of the Humanities and the Anschutz Distinguished Fellow at Princeton University, spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. Hedges has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and the New York Times, where he spent fifteen years. He is the author of the best selling War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, which draws on his experiences in various conflicts to describe the patterns and behavior of nations and individuals in wartime.

Hedges, the son of a Presbyterian minister, has a B.A. in English Literature from Colgate University and a Master of Divinity from Harvard University. He was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard during the academic year of 1998-1999. He has a strong grounding in the classics and knows Greek and Latin, as well as Arabic, French and Spanish. He currently writes for numerous publications including Foreign Affair.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Gordon Glick, January 1, 2012 (view all comments by Gordon Glick)
Hedges draws remarkable conclusions about the current political morass facing the working class in the USA: he believes that the "99%" have been betrayed by a moribund liberalism that lacks courage as well as vision as to how to restore rule by the people in our democracy. Hedges speaks as a man brought up in the liberal precepts of the academy and the organized church, two components of the "liberal class," along with organized labor and the Democratic Party, that have abandoned the struggle of the traditionally disenfranchised segments of society and have replaced it with corporate cash and ethics.
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the macguffin, February 22, 2011 (view all comments by the macguffin)
Hope is small. Hedges makes this clear in his work time and again. But it's there, it's all around us, and in our small opportunities to act . . . but it is going to be in those minute traces of kindness in our everyday lives. In Portland, I see 'Random Acts of Kindness" on bumperstickers. But that might be all we have become, as Hedges would argue. A bunch of walking, talking slogans without tangible action. If we could not somehow advertise these virtues we flare on facebook for our own esteem, would we have anything to do with them?

Others have warned of a pending demise of this Empire. All are marginalized as being 'gloomy'. Hedges will no doubt be right up there with them, but it's sad to say that he may very well be correct. The 'sensual man on the street' Auden mentions in a poem Hedges now and then cites. This book is about them and their need to perpetually look away. "The lights must never go out. The music must always play."

This book is inspiring in a sense. A call to arms against all the futile purchasing power we have in buying Teas to Save Tibet - as our neighbors get sideways glances in an age of self-absorbtion and fear.

Hedges is often critiqued for not posing a solution. I argue he does. Find those little moments that are within your power. When you might otherwise look the other way. I assure you they are there. And act. The more seemingly stupid and random and peacefully the better. An authoritarian State does not know what to do with that. And we are there.
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(3 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
jsea, November 9, 2010 (view all comments by jsea)
A must read. Just heard Chris interviewed by Thom Hartmann. The observations Chris makes in this timely book are going to be needed if course corrections are going to be made on time. We are in a boatload of trouble, facing the realities involved will be the only way to chart a new course out of this corporate mess. Sobering and accurate, progressives, liberals, and Democrats need to take this medicine delivered by Chris.
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(17 of 19 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781568586441
Publisher:
Nation Books
Subject:
Political Ideologies - Conservatism & Liberalism
Author:
Hedges, Chris
Subject:
Politics - General
Edition Description:
First Trade Paper Edition
Publication Date:
20111129
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 9
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.50 in
Age Level:
from 18

Related Subjects


History and Social Science » American Studies » Culture Wars
History and Social Science » Politics » Activism and Peace Studies
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Culture

Death of the Liberal Class
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 256 pages Nation Books - English 9781568586441 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In this tsunami of terrifying revelations, juxtaposed truths, and demonstrated facts, Hedges (War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning) argues that the traditional beacons of the liberal class-the universities, media, church, labor unions, and arts-have sacrificed themselves completely to the dominance of corporate greed and unbounded capitalism. We are all to blame and everything moral about our democracy stands to be lost-is indeed already vanishing, in Hedges's view-and those who draw attention to it are banished and booed. While every page erupts with calamities of the human spirit worthy of their own irate broadcasts and bull-horned fury, Hedges is at his best when he unpacks the density of his polemic and embraces the power of his narrative. Regardless of form, however, his most interesting theses include the parallel between the current domestic climate and the fall of Weimar Germany and the conclusion that 'Everything formed by violence is senseless and useless. It exists without a future. It leaves behind nothing but death, grief, and destruction.' These insights come not just as warning, but as witness. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Synopsis" by , The liberal class is facing an untimely demise of its own making. In this provocative new work Chris Hedges explains how liberals sold us out, bankrupted the country and now face a crisis of their own.
"Synopsis" by , For decades the liberal class was a defense against the worst excesses of power. But the pillars of the liberal class — the press, universities, the labor movement, the Democratic Party, and liberal religious institutions — have collapsed. In its absence, the poor, the working class, and even the middle class no longer have a champion.

In this searing polemic Chris Hedges indicts liberal institutions, including his former employer, the New York Times, who have distorted their basic beliefs in order to support unfettered capitalism, the national security state, globalization, and staggering income inequalities. Hedges argues that the death of the liberal class created a profound vacuum at the heart of American political life. And now speculators, war profiteers, and demagogues — from militias to the Tea Party — are filling the void.

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