One Of The Great American Liberals

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OPEN UNIVERSITY SEPTEMBER 14, 2006

One Of The Great American Liberals

by Alan WolfeFritz Stern ought to be ranked up there as one of the great American liberals of the twentieth century, along with his close friends Richard Hofstadter and Lionel Trilling. Not only did he contribute substantively to developing a picture of what liberalism ought to be in The Politics of Cultural Despair, truly one of the best books ever to emerge out of a doctoral dissertation, he held fast to his principles through both Nazi and Communist rule in his country of birth, as well as the challenges to liberal ideas presented by Columbia students in 1968 and the Bush administration today. Five Germanys I Have Known, his recently published memoir, is a must read for anyone who treasures both the academy and the kind of polity best capable of sustaining it.

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