An acclaimed journalist and novelist explores the legacy and future of American liberalism through the history of his family's politically active history
George Packer's maternal grandfather, George Huddleston, was a populist congressman from Alabama in the early part of the century--an agrarian liberal in the Jacksonian mold who opposed the New Deal. Packer's father was a Kennedy-era liberal, a law professor and dean at Stanford whose convictions were sorely--and ultimately fatally--tested in the campus upheavals of the 1960s. The inheritor of two sometimes conflicting strains of the great American liberal tradition, Packer discusses the testing of ideals in the lives of his father and grandfather and his own struggle to understand the place of the progressive tradition in our currently polarized political climate. Searching, engrossing, and persuasive, this is an original, intimate examination of the meaning of politics in American lives.