The Vital Center: The Politics of Freedom

Front Cover
Da Capo Press, 1949 - Political Science - 274 pages
4 Reviews
The Vital Center is an eloquent and incisive defense of liberal democracy against its rivals to the left and to the right, communism and fascism. It shows how the failures of free society had led to the mass escape from freedom and sharpened the appeal of totalitarian solutions. It calls for a radical reconstruction of the democratic faith based on a realistic understanding of human limitation and frailty. "Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible", as Reinhold Niebuhr put it, "but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary". Though times and problems have changed, the spirit of The Vital Center -- liberalism without illusions -- remains as live and crucial as ever. Now this remarkable book is available to new generations.

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: The Vital Center: The Politics of Freedom

User Review  - Rich Cranford - Goodreads

Deftly presented mandate for the liberal left with examinations of fascism, Communism, and American Progressive and conservative ideologies as assessed in the aftermath of WWII. Enough historical ... Read full review

Review: The Vital Center: The Politics of Freedom

User Review  - Goodreads

Deftly presented mandate for the liberal left with examinations of fascism, Communism, and American Progressive and conservative ideologies as assessed in the aftermath of WWII. Enough historical ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

References to this book

Up from Conservatism
Michael Lind
Limited preview - 1997
All Book Search results »

About the author (1949)

Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. is the author of several fundamental works on American history, including The Age of Jackson, The Age of Roosevelt, Robert Kennedy and His Times, and the Cycles of American History.

Bibliographic information