A Thousand Small Sanities: The Moral Adventure of Liberalism

A Thousand Small Sanities: The Moral Adventure of Liberalism

The New York Times-bestselling author offers a stirring defense 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 The New York Times-bestselling author offers a stirring defense of liberalism against the dogmatisms of our time Not...

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Title:A Thousand Small Sanities: The Moral Adventure of Liberalism
Author:Adam Gopnik
Rating:
Genres:Politics
ISBN:154169936X
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:272 pages pages

A Thousand Small Sanities: The Moral Adventure of Liberalism Reviews

  • Warwick
    Jul 23, 2019
    ?Liberal? is a tricksy term, and I'm not really sure what it means, even after reading Adam Gopnik's airy defence of it. In the UK, it brings to mind historical thinkers such as Locke, or John Stewart Mill; in the US, it vaguely means ?supportive of the Democratic Party?. With ...
  • Mehrsa
    Aug 25, 2019
    There's a lot to think about in this book and a lot to agree with. I share Gopnik's views of how reform is done--little by little, but constant. Revolutions don't always work out so well. I don't know if the thing he is defending is Liberalism per se, but the impulse for swift change. ...
  • David
    Mar 26, 2019
    An absolute embarrassment. ...
  • Ginny
    Jun 05, 2019
    I listened to this as an audiobook. Partway in I wished I'd had an actual book so I could re-read some sections. ...
  • E.
    Jul 22, 2019
    Gopnik offers a robust defense of the liberal worldview as the great human moral adventure. He writes, "Whenever we look at how the big problems got solved, it was rarely a big idea that solved them. It was the intercession of a thousand small sanities. A thousand small sanities are us...
  • Joseph Stieb
    Aug 04, 2019
    Thought this was a brilliant defense of liberalism as well as a fair-minded and thorough consideration of conservatism and leftism. You might be wondering: What could Gopnik possibly contribute to the proliferation of defenses of liberalism? Well, he starts by clarifying that defending...
  • Kevin
    Jul 28, 2019
    3.5 stars. Loved the thesis, but the writing was clunky. ...
  • Bill Berg
    Oct 01, 2019
    I was recommended this book by a friend associated with a small left Lutheran (ELCA) college. I wasn't very far into it before I thought of Bill Buckley's "God and Man at Yale" .. I imagine unsuspecting parents sending youth off to a school that they think is "christian" only to find t...
  • Sheri
    Aug 28, 2019
    So I'm feeling a little like I just drank the kool-aid and a little like I found a nice framework within which I can wiggle. Moderation is one of my most favorite sayings; not abstinence (with most things) or complete indulgence, but the recognition that a little bit of almost everythi...
  • Richard Gilbert
    Aug 16, 2019
    Gopnik is a brilliant man and a thrilling writer. That said, A Thousand Small Sanities doesn't sing and soar like his previous book I read on Lincoln and Darwin. Instead, he plows a wide, steady path toward an unexpected, important insight. He has come to draw a firm clear line betw...
  • Steve Greenleaf
    Oct 12, 2019
    A single word can?t easily contain a complex concept, and a concept cannot easily (if ever) contain a reality. A linguistic referent (word), to supply any value, must include an essential aspect of the referred chunk of reality. So, we can go on at length, and often fruitfully, about...
  • Rachel
    Jul 14, 2019
    I found this an interesting if slightly unfocused read. It took a meandering course through the personal history of prominent liberals like Harriet Taylor, with side discourses on various concepts like liberalism and faith and liberalism and capitalism. I learned something, which I lik...
  • Matt Schiavenza
    Jun 20, 2019
    Reading an Adam Gopnik book is like having dinner with a witty, erudite, charming friend who nevertheless leaves you wondering what the conversation was about. I don't mean this as an insult ? I generally enjoy Gopnik's writing, but readers looking for precise argumentation here will...
  • Gavin
    Sep 15, 2019
    What a lovely defense and explanation of liberalism; not wimpy but visionary, not non-radical but committed to social change without violence. ...
  • Seema Rao
    Feb 25, 2019
    Thought-provoking ~ Well-written ~ Right-on tl:dr: Liberalism isn't crazy; its human and important. Gopnik starts with a story about helping his teenaged daughter through the political stresses of the 2016 election. From that introduction, the reader is introduced to Gopnik's ap...
  • Albert Stern
    Jun 20, 2019
    Just finished this and some of the reviews, mostly from left-leaning publications like The Nation and New Republic that basically eviscerated it. From a right of center point of view, what's annoying is that Gopnik equates liberalism with virtue, that it is born of and embodies all tha...
  • John Ronald
    Oct 21, 2019
    Well written intellectual history of contemporary American political liberalism. My main quibble is Gopnik's professed lack of understanding of the term "neoliberalism" and his apparent doubt that it really exists(?!). It is a category error and strange oversight. Neoliberalism is mere...
  • Patrick
    Jun 09, 2019
    If you read one book this year, let it be this one. ...
  • Paul Kelly
    Jul 22, 2019
    10 Quotes that will help you evaluate this book 1. The secret truth is that what we are having most of the time is the same reform, over and over again, directed to new places and people: a removal of socially sanctioned cruelty. 2.The real source of reform is often far from any ...
  • Mark Lawry
    Jun 24, 2019
    Liberal and conservative are two words that have evolved over the last few 100 years. This fact almost makes these two words meaningless. A great frustration for myself is that being an American liberal does not make one a classical liberal, or even a liberal. As Gopnik points out Adam...
  • Heath Salzman
    Oct 01, 2019
    I appreciate Gopnik?s tone and goals in this book. The book is framed as a letter to his daughter, explaining the merits of liberalism in an age of anxiety and fear. I learned a great deal about the history of liberalism. Gopnik charitably defended his vein of liberalism against left...
  • Kerry
    Aug 09, 2019
    I'd first seen Gopnik on a political talk show and he impressed me with his insights though I thought he might "read" better in print, as many authors naturally do, than in such a contentious format. Not so much, as it turns out. I can't add much to the other reviews I've seen of this ...
  • Jesse Young
    Sep 05, 2019
    I gave this book 110 pages before giving up. I'm not totally sure what Gopnik hoped to accomplish with this tract, but he's produced a deeply meandering and boring recitation of the lives and opinions of mostly 18th and 19th century political figures. It's exactly the kind of book he s...
  • David Kraemer
    Jan 05, 2020
    I don't entirely accept Adam Gopnik's presentation of liberalism, which is more focused on patching a historical record than providing a holistic account. But my quibble here does not detract from this work, three (or four, depending on how you count) essays on liberalism. Framed as a ...
  • Paul Szydlowski
    Jul 23, 2019
    The most important passage in this book refers to the salons of the 17th and 18th centuries, out of which liberalism and democracy grew, finishing with the observation that parliament is only as strong as the coffee house next door. That single sentence inadvertently captures what ails...
  • MGF
    Jun 04, 2019
    Yes, I decided to read this so the author could preach to me in the choir, and while that did happen, I found the ?preaching? flying right over my head in many cases. There is no doubt there are many highly intelligent and highly quotable lines in this book, but it felt like I need...
  • Ellen
    Aug 25, 2019
    I could have sworn I reviewed this book for GoodReads but maybe I didn't. Or maybe I inadvertently deleted it? I have done stranger things. I know for sure I have recommended it to every Democrat in the presidential race, every member of the DNC and Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi in pa...
  • Tom Walsh
    Aug 15, 2019
    Makes a good case for a formal definition of Liberalism. Highly readable, not bogged down by politics, but occasionally padded with more biographical information of his Liberal/Socialist/Communist heroes. I liked his largely successful attempt at a definition that will survive toda...
  • Jason Grossmann-Ferris
    Jun 04, 2019
    Coming from my own political background, I did not expect to enjoy this book for its intended purpose (in fact, the only joy I intended to derive from it was a good laugh at whatever futile claims the author made in his attempt to properly convey his point). However, its dense nature m...
  • Glenn M
    Jun 28, 2019
    Horribly pretentious ...