Liberals on trial: Rebecca West & Alistair Cooke

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Abstract

Perplexed as we are by an age of splintering identities, it is tempting to look back on the Cold War as an ideologically simple time. The battles between liberal and Communist intellectuals— epitomized by the bitter dispute between Raymond Aron and Jean-Paul Sartre in France—are legends of Cold War history. So, too, are the stories of those that renounced Communism to become liberals or liberal-inflected conservatives, people like Sidney Hook, Arthur Koestler, François Furet, and Leszek Kołakowski. Yet the more we focus on liberalism’s conflict with Communism, and liberalism’s victory over it, the less likely we are to recall how liberals fought among themselves—about Communism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages22-27
Volume39
No.3
Specialist publicationThe New Criterion
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

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