Helena Rosenblatt

The Lost History of Liberalism

From Ancient Rome to the Twenty-First Century

Princeton University Press 2018

New Books in HistoryNew Books in Intellectual HistoryNew Books in Political ScienceNew Books in PoliticsNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in SecularismNew Books Network January 4, 2019 Emily K. Crandall

How is it that “liberalism” is a word so ubiquitous and yet we can hardly seem to agree on its meaning? In her book...

How is it that “liberalism” is a word so ubiquitous and yet we can hardly seem to agree on its meaning? In her book The Lost History of Liberalism: From Ancient Rome to the Twenty-First Century (Princeton University Press, 2018), Helena Rosenblatt traces the history of the words “liberal” and “liberalism” in order to understand how liberals defined themselves, and what they meant when they spoke about liberalism. In recovering liberalism’s roots in the French Revolution, as well as highlighting the centrality of the German thinkers who transformed it, Rosenblatt debunks the myth of liberalism as an Anglo-American tradition centered on individual rights. 


Emily K. Crandall is a PhD candidate in Political Science at the Graduate Center, CUNY. She is a fellow at the Center for Global Ethics and Politics in the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies.

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