Bleak Liberalism by Amanda AndersonBleak Liberalism by Amanda Anderson

Bleak Liberalism

byAmanda Anderson

Paperback | November 30, 2016

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Why is liberalism so often dismissed by thinkers from both the left and the right? To those calling for wholesale transformation or claiming a monopoly on “realistic” conceptions of humanity, liberalism’s assured progressivism can seem hard to swallow. Bleak Liberalism makes the case for a renewed understanding of the liberal tradition, showing that it is much more attuned to the complexity of political life than conventional accounts have acknowledged.

Amanda Anderson examines canonical works of high realism, political novels from England and the United States, and modernist works to argue that liberalism has engaged sober and even stark views of historical development, political dynamics, and human and social psychology. From Charles Dickens’s Bleak House and Hard Times to E. M. Forster’s Howards End to Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook, this literature demonstrates that liberalism has inventive ways of balancing sociological critique and moral aspiration. A deft blend of intellectual history and literary analysis, Bleak Liberalism reveals a richer understanding of one of the most important political ideologies of the modern era.
Amanda Anderson is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Humanities and English at Brown University. She is the author of several books, including, most recently, The Way We Argue Now: A Study in the Cultures of Theory.
Title:Bleak LiberalismFormat:PaperbackDimensions:192 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.6 inPublished:November 30, 2016Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226923525

ISBN - 13:9780226923529


Table of Contents


1 Bleak Liberalism
2 Liberalism in the Age of High Realism
3 Revisiting the Political Novel
4 The Liberal Aesthetic in the Postwar Era: The Case of Trilling and Adorno
5 Bleak Liberalism and the Realism/Modernism Debate: Ellison and Lessing


Editorial Reviews

“The existential challenge of pluralism is of critical value to any politics and aesthetics worth fighting for in our bleak political climate. Nothing better equips us for such a challenge than Bleak Liberalism. . . Anderson’s body of work makes significant original contributions to aesthetic and political theory, and her current study is no exception.”