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The Good Fight
Cover of The Good Fight
The Good Fight
Why Liberals--and Only Liberals--Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again
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Once upon a time, liberals knew what they believed. They believed America must lead the world by persuasion, not command. And they believed that by championing freedom overseas, America itself could become more free. That liberal spirit won America's trust at the dawn of the Cold War. Then it collapsed in the wake of Vietnam. Now, after 9/11, and the failed presidency of George W. Bush, America needs it back.

In this powerful and provocative book, Peter Beinart offers a new liberal vision, based on principles liberals too often forget: That America's goodness cannot simply be asserted; it must be proved. That American leadership is not American empire. And that liberalism cannot merely define itself against the right, but must oppose the totalitarianism that blighted Europe a half century ago, and which stalks the Islamic world today.

With liberals severed from their own history, conservatives have drawn on theirs -- the principles of national chauvinism and moral complacency that America once rejected. The country will reject them again, and embrace the creed that brought it greatness before. But only if liberals remember what that means. It means an unyielding hostility to totalitarianism -- and a recognition that defeating it requires bringing hope to the bleakest corners of the globe. And it means understanding that democracy begins at home.

Peter Beinart's The Good Fight is a passionate rejoinder to the conservatives who have ruled Washington since 9/11. It is an intellectual lifeline for a Democratic Party lying flat on its back. And it is a call for liberals to revive the spirit that swept America, and inspired the world.

Read by David Slavin

Once upon a time, liberals knew what they believed. They believed America must lead the world by persuasion, not command. And they believed that by championing freedom overseas, America itself could become more free. That liberal spirit won America's trust at the dawn of the Cold War. Then it collapsed in the wake of Vietnam. Now, after 9/11, and the failed presidency of George W. Bush, America needs it back.

In this powerful and provocative book, Peter Beinart offers a new liberal vision, based on principles liberals too often forget: That America's goodness cannot simply be asserted; it must be proved. That American leadership is not American empire. And that liberalism cannot merely define itself against the right, but must oppose the totalitarianism that blighted Europe a half century ago, and which stalks the Islamic world today.

With liberals severed from their own history, conservatives have drawn on theirs -- the principles of national chauvinism and moral complacency that America once rejected. The country will reject them again, and embrace the creed that brought it greatness before. But only if liberals remember what that means. It means an unyielding hostility to totalitarianism -- and a recognition that defeating it requires bringing hope to the bleakest corners of the globe. And it means understanding that democracy begins at home.

Peter Beinart's The Good Fight is a passionate rejoinder to the conservatives who have ruled Washington since 9/11. It is an intellectual lifeline for a Democratic Party lying flat on its back. And it is a call for liberals to revive the spirit that swept America, and inspired the world.

Read by David Slavin

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About the Author-
  • Peter Beinart is an associate professor of journalism and political science at the City University of New York and a senior fellow at the New America Foundation. He is the senior political writer for The Daily Beast and a contributor to Time. Beinart is a former fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of The Good Fight. He lives with his family in Washington, D.C.

Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Beinart's title makes some bold claims, but his book is hardly a litany of the Angry Left. The accessible and informative text is ably brought along by narrator David Slavin. This is a case in which the reader's tone and style match the text well. No matter what your political persuasion, Beinart's book deserves a listen because the research is good, the arguments are cogent, and the text is snappy and well put-together. Production is also good, with high audibility in a noisy car. And the CDs are divided into logical chapters, rather than split every 3 minutes, as is usually the case. That convenience gives this audiobook extra merit points. T.F. (c) AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 10, 2006
    This stimulating manifesto calls for a liberalism that battles Islamist totalitarianism as forthrightly as Cold War liberals opposed Communist totalitarianism. Former New Republic
    editor Beinart assails both an anti-imperialist left that rejects the exercise of U.S. power and the Bush administration's assumption of America's moral infallibility. America shouldn't shrink from fighting terrorism, despite civilian casualties and moral compromises, he contends, but its antitotalitarian agenda must be restrained by world opinion, international institutions and liberal self-doubt, while bolstered by economic development aid abroad and economic equality at home. Beinart offers an incisive historical account of the conflicts straining postwar liberalism and of the contradictions, hubris and incompetence of Bush's actions. He's sketchier on what a liberal war on terror entails—perhaps a cross between Clinton's Balkan humanitarian interventions and the Afghanistan operation, with U.S. forces descending on Muslim backwaters to destroy jihadists and build nations. The tragic conundrum of a fighting liberalism that avoids enmeshment in a Vietnam or Iraq (the author now repudiates his early support of the Iraq war) is never adequately addressed. Still, Beinart's provocative analysis could stir much-needed debate on the direction of liberal foreign policy.

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The Good Fight
The Good Fight
Why Liberals--and Only Liberals--Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again
Peter Beinart
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