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A Thousand Small Sanities: The Moral Adventure of Liberalism

Adam Gopnik

8 Reviews

Rated 0

Liberalism & centre democratic ideologies

The New York Times-bestselling author offers a stirring defence of liberalism against the dogmatisms of our time

Not since the early twentieth century has liberalism, and liberals, been under such relentless attack, from both right and left. The crisis of democracy in our era has produced a crisis of faith in liberal institutions and, even worse, in liberal thought.

A THOUSAND SMALL SANITIES is a manifesto rooted in the lives of people who invented and extended the liberal tradition. Taking us from Montaigne to Mill, and from Middlemarch to the civil rights movement, Adam Gopnik argues that liberalism is not a form of centrism, nor simply another word for free markets, nor merely a term denoting a set of rights. It is something far more ambitious: the search for radical change by humane measures. Gopnik shows us why liberalism is one of the great moral adventures in human history--and why, in an age of autocracy, our lives may depend on its continuation.

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Praise for A Thousand Small Sanities: The Moral Adventure of Liberalism

  • Witty, humane, learned . . . By assimilating what was once radical to his variety of liberalism, Gopnik hopes to prove to contemporary progressives that they can champion the woke causes of the 21st century without surrendering the liberal heritage of free speech, rule of law, scientific inquiry and individual conscience. - New York Times

  • Written with Adam Gopnik's signature wit and charm, A Thousand Small Sanities is also a clarion call at a moment of great danger. This fierce, capacious, and startlingly intelligent defense of a whole political, social, and moral order is essential reading for our time. - Stephen Greenblatt, author of The Swerve

  • A smart, exhilarating defense of the liberal tradition - Publishers Weekly

  • Watch and enjoy another mind confront the world at its most problematic. It feels like a dying art - Tim Adams, Observer, on In Mid-Air

  • The distinctive brilliance of Gopnik's essays lies in his ability to pick up a subject one would never have believed possible to think deeply about then cover it in thoughts. He is truly able to see the whole world in a grain of sand - Alain de Botton

  • Gopnik has written with entrancing penetration on just about everything - Spectator

  • A dazzling talent - hilarious, winning and deft - Malcolm Gladwell

  • Brilliantly insightful - Sunday Times

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Adam Gopnik

Adam Gopnik has been writing for the New Yorker since 1986. He is a three-time winner of the National Magazine Award for Essays and for Criticism, and the George Polk Award for magazine reporting. From 1995 to 2000 he lived in Paris; he now lives in New York City with his wife and their two children.

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