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Review Essay: From Peak Oil to Peak Liberalism

D. G. Hart


How did Patrick Deneen go from the back to the first in the queue of liberalisms critics? His new book, Why Liberalism Failed, is certainly not the first to register a substantial critique of the dominant political system in the West since the American and French Revolutions. But none of these indictments of liberalism seem to have leveled the intellectual punch that Deneens has. Panel discussions at universities, reviews in the nations top newspapers, and commentary by elite op-ed writersnot to mention a slew of reviews in journals, magazines, and on social mediahave followed in the wake of this relatively brief book from Yale University Press. Much of Deneens assessment appears to be unaware of the longer train of liberalisms critics, even though the author himself admits a debt to Burke, Berry, Nisbet, and Tocqueville. What is going on?

D. G. Hart, "Review Essay: From Peak Oil to Peak Liberalism," Journal of Markets & Morality 21, no. 2 (Fall 2018): 351361.*

*Review essay of Patrick J. Deneen, Why Liberalism Failed (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2018).

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