Liberals and leftists in the United States have not always been estranged from one another as they are today. Historian Doug Rossinow examines how the cooperation and the creative tension between left-wing radicals and liberal reformers advanced many of the most important political values of the 20th century, including free speech, freedom of conscience, and racial equality. Visions of Progress chronicles the broad alliances of radical and liberal figures who were driven by a particular concept of social progress - a transformative vision in which the country would become not simply wealthier or a bit fairer, but fundamentally more democratic, just, and united. Believers in this vision - from the settlement-house pioneer Jane Addams and the civil rights leader W. E. B. Du Bois in the 1890s and after, to the founders of the ACLU in the 1920s, to Minnesota Governor Floyd Olson and assorted labor-union radicals in the 1930s, to New Dealer Henry Wallace in the 1940s - belonged to a left-liberal tradition in America. They helped push political leaders, including Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and Harry Truman, toward reforms that made the goals of opportunity and security real for ever more Americans. Yet, during the Cold War era of the 1950s and '60s, leftists and liberals came to view one another as enemies, and their influential alliance all but vanished. Visions of Progress 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. Rossinow takes the story up to the present, showing how the progressive connection was lost and explaining the consequences that followed. This book introduces today's progressives to their historical predecessors, while offering an ambitious reinterpretation of issues in American political history. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Stephen Bowlby. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/001527/bk_acx0_001527_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Walking is not as well known as Thoreau's other works Walden, The Maine Woods, and Civil Disobedience. But it is a good place to start exploring his writing because it was his last book, in 1862, published by the Atlantic Monthly shortly after his death. It is less well known because it is general, as opposed to singular, in focus. It is his summing up of his thoughts on life: One should saunter through life and take notice; one need not go far (as Thoreau rarely left the 25 square miles of Concord and its population of 1,784, according to the 1840 census.) This is not a political or ecological book as many advocates have stated; it does support nature, but in a small subtle way. He was a man of his age who possessed a variety of talents and abilities, similar to Jefferson and Franklin. He sought to encourage people to notice and saunter, but did not rail against anyone who chose not to. This was a favorite work of Justice William Douglas, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mohandas Gandhi. As the liberal jurist Douglas said, This book displays how Thoreau could have been transplanted to any American century and prospered. Jefferson, Franklin, Douglas, King, and Gandhi would be five men who could join him in his appreciation for sauntering and noticing. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Deaver Brown. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/smag/000163/bk_smag_000163_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
America emerged from Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal with strong democratic values and broadly shared prosperity. But for the past 30 years, American politics has been dominated by a conservative movement determined to undermine the New Deal's achievements. Now, the tide may be turning, and in Paul Krugman, the world's most widely read economist and one of its most influential political commentators, charts the way to reform. Krugman ranges over a century of history and shows that neither the American middle-class nor the baby boomers who grew up in the increasingly oligarchic nation we have become over the past generation evolved naturally. Both were created, to a large extent, by government policies guided by organized political movements. The Conscience of a Liberal promises to reshape public debate about American social policy and become a touchstone work for an entire generation. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Jason Culp. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/rand/001262/bk_rand_001262_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
As presidential candidates sling dirt at each other, America desperately needs a few real heroes. Tragically, liberal historians and educators have virtually erased traditional American heroes from history. According to the Left, the Founding Fathers were not noble architects of America but selfish demagogues, and self-made entrepreneurs like Rockefeller were robber barons and corporate polluters. Instead of honoring great men from America’s past, kids today now idolize rock stars, pro athletes, and Hollywood celebrities. In his new book, author Brion McClanahan rescues the legendary deeds of the greatest Americans and shows why we ought to venerate heroes like Captain John Smith, adventurer Daniel Boone, General Robert E. Lee, and many more. The Politically Incorrect Guide to Real American Heroes not only resuscitates America’s forgotten heroes but sheds light on the Left’s most cherished figures, including Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the Kennedys. With biting wit and devastating detail, McClanahan strikes back against the multicultural narrative peddled by liberal historians who make heroes out of pop-culture icons and corrupt politicians. In America’s hour of peril, McClanahan’s book is a timely and entertaining call to remember the heritage of this great nation and the heroes who built it. Brion McClanahan is author of The Founding Fathers’ Guide to the Constitution, The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Founding Fathers, and holds an MA and Ph.D. in American history from the University of South Carolina. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Tom Weiner. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/blak/005367/bk_blak_005367_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
By the author of acclaimed biographies of Theodore Roosevelt and Henry Adams, a penetrating biography of one of the most high-minded, consequential, and controversial US presidents, Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924). The Moralist is a cautionary tale about the perils of moral vanity and American overreach in foreign affairs. In domestic affairs, Wilson was a progressive who enjoyed unprecedented success in leveling the economic playing field, but he was behind the times on racial equality and women’s suffrage. As a Southern boy during the Civil War, he knew the ravages of war, and as president he refused to lead the country into World War I until he was convinced that Germany posed a direct threat to the United States. Once committed, he was an admirable commander in chief, yet he also presided over the harshest suppression of political dissent in American history. After the war Wilson became the world’s most ardent champion of liberal internationalism - a democratic new world order committed to peace, collective security, and free trade. With Wilson’s leadership, the governments at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 founded the League of Nations, a federation of the world’s democracies. The creation of the League, Wilson’s last great triumph, was quickly followed by two crushing blows: a paralyzing stroke and the rejection of the treaty that would have allowed the United States to join the League. After a backlash against internationalism in the 1920s and 1930s, Wilson’s liberal internationalism was revived by Franklin D. Roosevelt, and it has shaped American foreign relations - for better and worse - ever since. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Fred Sanders. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/sans/008767/bk_sans_008767_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
A fresh and fascinating reappraisal of the first half of the 20th century from one of our foremost historians. 'War, comrades,' declared Trotsky, 'is a great locomotive of history.' He was thought to be acknowledging the opportunity the First World War had offered the Bolsheviks to seize power in Russia in 1917. Twentieth-century warfare, based on new technologies and mass armies, certainly saw the locomotive power of war geared up to an unprecedented level. Peter Clarke explores the crucial ways in which war can be seen as a prime mover of history in the 20th century through the eyes of five major figures. In Britain two wartime prime ministers - first David Lloyd George, later Winston Churchill - found their careers made and unmade by the unprecedented challenges they faced. In the United States, two presidents elected in peacetime - Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt - likewise found that war drastically changed their agenda. And it was through the experience of war that the economic ideas of John Maynard Keynes were shaped and came to exert wide influence. When the United States entered the First World War in 1917, President Wilson famously declared: 'The world must be made safe for democracy.' This liberal prospectus was to be tested in the subsequent peace treaty, one that was to be bitterly remembered by Germans for its 'war guilt clause'. But both in the making of the war and the making of the peace, the issue of guilt did not suddenly materialise out of thin air. As Clarke's narrative shows, it was an integral component of the Anglo-American liberal tradition. The Locomotive of War is a forensic and punctilious examination of both the interplay between key figures in the context of the unprecedented all-out wars of 1914-18 and 1939-45 and the broader dynamics of history in this extraordinary period. Deeply revealing and insightful, it is history of the highest calibre. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Jeremy Clyde. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/adbl/030508/bk_adbl_030508_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
As the oldest political party in the United States, the Democratic Party has been one of the nation’s major political parties for over 150 years, and diverse men and ideas have fallen under its tent since the 19th century. Today the Democrats are generally viewed as proponents of a strong, centralized federal government, and yet the forerunner of the modern party was none other than Thomas Jefferson, the man most associated with states’ rights and limited government. With its Jeffersonian background, the party championed farmers, and Andrew Jackson’s populist era made the Party home to urban workers and new immigrants. Eventually sectional splits weakened the Democrats, and when the fledgling Republican Party took power under Abraham Lincoln in 1861, it ushered in an era in which the Democrats only elected two presidents over a 70-year span. However, Reconstruction ensured that the Democrats maintained an almost unbreakable level of support in the old Confederate states, and they used the Solid South to wield power in Congress for decades. One hundred and fifty years after the Civil War, the Democratic Party’s current voting bloc (strongly reliant on minorities) and their base of power (the Northeast and Midwest) are completely different than the 19th century’s incarnation. Its platform has also been completely revamped. Both of those reversals are byproducts of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society, which continue to be the pillars on which the Democrats’ current platform rests. As the 20th century progressed, so did the Democratic Party, and by 1932, it had switched places with the Republicans and had become the party of liberal politics, beginning with the four term tenure of Franklin Roosevelt and continuing through the Great Society promulgated by Lyndon Johnson. And yet, it left many of the people who should have supported it dissatisfied, as could be seen in the rioting and unrest that surrounded both the 1. Language: English. Narrator: Scott Clem. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/118291/bk_acx0_118291_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
The fascinating, behind-the-scenes story of Franklin Roosevelt's attempt to pack the Supreme Court has special resonance today as we debate the limits of presidential authority.The Supreme Court has generated many dramatic stories, none more so than the one that began on February 5, 1937. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, confident in his recent landslide reelection and frustrated by a Court that had overturned much of his New Deal legislation, stunned Congress and the American people with his announced intention to add six new justices. Even though the now-famous court packing scheme divided his own party, almost everyone assumed FDR would get his way and reverse the Courts conservative stance and long-standing laissez-faire support of corporate America, so persuasive and powerful had he become.In the end, however, a Supreme Court justice, Owen Roberts, who cast off precedent in the interests of principle, and a Democratic senator from Montana, Burton K. Wheeler, led an effort that turned an apparently unstoppable proposal into a humiliating rejection and preserved the Constitution.FDR v. Constitution is the colorful story behind 168 days that riveted and reshaped the nation. Burt Solomon skillfully recounts the major New Deal initiatives of FDR's first term and the rulings that overturned them, chronicling as well the politics and personalities on the Supreme Court from the brilliant octogenarian Louis Brandeis, to the politically minded chief justice, Charles Evans Hughes, to the mercurial Roberts, whose switch in time saved nine. The ebb and flow of one of the momentous set pieces in American history placed the inner workings of the nation's capital on full view as the three branches of our government squared off.Ironically for FDR, the Court that emerged from this struggle shifted on its own to a liberal attitude, where it would largely remain for another seven decades. Placing the greatest miscalculation of FDRs career in context 1. Language: English. Narrator: Louis Milgrom. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/adbl/001528/bk_adbl_001528_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.