Book Review

Hindsight

The Twilight of the American Enlightenment: The 1950s and the Crisis of Liberalism
by George M. Marsden

Basic Books, 2014
(264 pages, $26.99, hardcover)

reviewed by Graeme Hunter

George Marsden's readable book, The Twilight of the American Enlightenment, is about America in the 1950s and the same place six decades later. Except we all know it's not the same place. Few, however, can account for the changes as lucidly, or with such lightly worn but impressive scholarship as Marsden exhibits in this book.

His aim in the first place is to acquaint today's "general reader" with the way such readers in the 1950s perceived American political, social, and religious arrangements—and over-estimated their durability." A second goal . . .

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Graeme Hunter is a contributing editor to Touchstone and Research Professor of Philosophy at Dominican University College in Ottawa. He is the author of Radical Protestantism in Spinoza's Thought (Ashgate).


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