Cover image for Why liberalism failed / Patrick J. Deneen ; foreword by James Davison Hunter and John M. Owen IV.
Why liberalism failed / Patrick J. Deneen ; foreword by James Davison Hunter and John M. Owen IV.
Publication Information:
New Haven : Yale University Press, [2018]
Physical Description:
xix, 225 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
Politics and culture


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
320.51 DEN Book Adult General Collection

On Order



"One of the most important political books of 2018."--Rod Dreher, American Conservative

Of the three dominant ideologies of the twentieth century--fascism, communism, and liberalism--only the last remains. This has created a peculiar situation in which liberalism's proponents tend to forget that it is an ideology and not the natural end-state of human political evolution. As Patrick Deneen argues in this provocative book, liberalism is built on a foundation of contradictions: it trumpets equal rights while fostering incomparable material inequality; its legitimacy rests on consent, yet it discourages civic commitments in favor of privatism; and in its pursuit of individual autonomy, it has given rise to the most far-reaching, comprehensive state system in human history. Here, Deneen offers an astringent warning that the centripetal forces now at work on our political culture are not superficial flaws but inherent features of a system whose success is generating its own failure.

Author Notes

Patrick J. Deneen is Professor of Political Science and holds the David A. Potenziani Memorial College Chair of Constitutional Studies at the University of Notre Dame. His previous books include The Odyssey of Political Theory , Democratic Faith , and a number of edited volumes. He lives in South Bend, IN.

Table of Contents

James Davison Hunter and John M. Owen IV
Forewordp. ix
Prefacep. xiii
Acknowledgmentsp. xvii
Introduction: The End of Liberalismp. 1
1 Unsustainable Liberalismp. 21
2 Uniting Individualism and Statismp. 43
3 Liberalism as Anticulturep. 64
4 Technology and the Loss of Libertyp. 91
5 Liberalism against Liberal Artsp. 111
6 The New Aristocracyp. 131
7 The Degradation of Citizenshipp. 154
Conclusion: Liberty after Liberalismp. 179
Notesp. 199
Bibliographyp. 213
Indexp. 221