OPEN UNIVERSITY OCTOBER 8, 2006
by Jeffrey Herf
This past March, a group of intellectuals, scholars, and journalists in London posted a statement on the Internet calling for a "new political alignment" among those ranging from the democratic left to "egalitarian liberals." A month ago a group of us wrote "American Liberalism and the Euston Manifesto" and were able to post it on the Euston Manifesto website. Today we are pleased to announce the launch of a new website, NewAmericanLiberalism.Org that continues this effort.
"The Euston Manifesto," named for the London underground station near the café where its key points were discussed and debated can be read at the group's website. The statement was a defense of liberal democracy and human rights as well as a rejection of anti-Americanism, anti-Semitism, and terrorism. Its authors supported a two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We regard the Euston Manifesto was an important turning point in contemporary intellectual and political debates. As of today, 2,574 people, mostly in Britain but also in this country and many others around the world, have signed the statement.
In late summer, the Euston Manifesto group in London helped to put the American signers of the statement in touch with one another via e-mail. I wrote a draft of an American liberal's response. Following several weeks of discussion with Russell Berman (Stanford), Thomas Cushman (Wellesley), Richard Just (The New Republic), Andrei Markovits (University of Michigan), Robert Lieber (Georgetown), and Fred Siegel (Cooper Union), we agreed on the revised text of "American Liberalism and the Euston Manifesto." We then sought support from prominent intellectuals and scholars. The Euston Manifesto group agreed to post it on its website. The statement and the list of signers was posted on September 12, 2006, and is available here) or by clicking on the "International" icon at the Euston Manifesto website).
"American Liberalism and the Euston Manifesto" is posted on our new website, NewAmericanLiberalism.Org. There are links to the Euston Manifesto site. Those who wish to sign either statement can do so. In addition to the co-authors, the now 178 signers include many people who are closely associated with The New Republic, notably Martin Peretz and Leon Wieseltier, past and recent contributors such as Daniel Bell, David Bell, Walter Laqueur, Daniel Goldhagen, Robert Leiken, Benny Morris, and Ronald Radosh, and a host of other very distinguished scholars, intellectuals, and policy analysts too long to be included here but readily available on the websites. The full list of signers is at the website. We hope website will facilitate discussion and debate occasioned by the issues we have raised.