Lost History of Liberalism: From Ancient Rome to the Twenty-First Century
Princeton University Press

Lost History of Liberalism: From Ancient Rome to the Twenty-First Century

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'The Lost History of Liberalism' challenges our most basic assumptions about a political creed that has become a rallying cry - and a term of derision - in today's increasingly divided public square. Taking readers from ancient Rome to today, Helena Rosenblatt traces the evolution of the words 'liberal' and 'liberalism', revealing the heated debates that have taken place over their meaning. In this timely and provocative book, Rosenblatt debunks the popular myth of liberalism as a uniquely Anglo-American tradition centered on individual rights. She shows that it was the French Revolution that gave birth to liberalism and Germans who transformed it. Only in the mid-twentieth century did the concept become widely known in the United States - and then, as now, its meaning was hotly debated.