Two Faces of Liberalism

Two Faces of Liberalism

Book - 2000
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Baker & Taylor
Examines the origins of liberalism and reflects on its future, exploring opposing liberal perspectives toward cohabitation, pluralism, tolerance, and freedom.

Norton Pub
Following in the footsteps of the widely praised False Dawn, John Gray's new book offers a thoughtful and provocative analysis of the failure of traditional liberalism to keep up with the complex political realities of today's increasingly divided world. John Gray, hailed as "one of Britain's leading public intellectuals" by the Wall Street Journal, argues that in its beginning, liberalism contained two contradictory philosophies of tolerance. In one, it put forward the enlightenment project of a universal civilization. In the other, it framed terms for peaceful coexistence between warring communities and between different ways of life. Developed at a time when society was dominated by a single way of life, each of these liberal ideals of toleration has many historic achievements to its credit. But how relevant is traditional liberalism in a world where Kosovo represents the collapse of the spirit of cohabitation?In a spirited attack on today's liberal orthodoxies, Gray argues that establishing a modus vivendi among the different cultures and regimes of our time should be at the heart of contemporary liberalism. In this major contribution to political theory, Gray proposes a new framework for a liberal thought that addresses these burning issues.

Book News
Gray (European thought, London School of Economics) examines the origins of liberalism as he reflects upon its future, using both historical and modern examples to illustrate opposing points of view among liberal thinkers. He argues to expand the liberal idea of cohabitation to a global context. and calls for a revision of liberal thought that will more accurately reflect our plural world. Chapters focus on liberal principles like tolerance, pluralism, and freedom. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: New York : New Press : Distributed by W.W. Norton, 2000
ISBN: 9781565845893
Branch Call Number: 320.51 GRA
Characteristics: 161 p. ; 22 cm


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