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.
Deneen's book is valuable because it focuses on today's central issue. The important debates now are not about policy. They are about the basic values and structures of our social order. -David Brooks, New York Times Bracing. . . . Deneen comes as a Jeremiah to announce that Tocqueville's fear that liberalism would eventually dissolve all [its] inheritances . . . may now be fully upon us. -Ross Douthat, New York Times Mr. Deneen has written a serious book offering a radical critique of modernity, and he has taken the trouble to do so both concisely and engagingly. His insights as well as his crotchets in pursuit of his argument are often arresting. He writes compellingly on the growth of government in tandem with the spread of liberal market principles, for example, noting that a supposed preference for 'limited government' has been no match for the demand for expanding government enforcement of individual rights. -Tod Lindberg, Wall Street Journal One of the most talked-about books of the moment. -Scott Reyburn, The New York Times Why Liberalism Failed offers cogent insights into the loss of meaning and community that many in the West feel, issues that liberal democracies ignore at their own peril. -President Barack Obama [Deneen's] exhortations to embrace the local over the global and the cultural over the political are sound and well expressed. -Barton Swaim, Wall Street Journal, Books on Politics: Best of 2018 Few books challenge the core assumptions of modern liberalism as unapologetically as the suggestively titled Why Liberalism Failed by Patrick Deneen. -Shadi Hamid, TheAtlantic.com Finalist for the Intercollegiate Studies Institute's 2018 Conservative Book of the Year prize, the Paolucci Book Award. Liberalism is clearly in everybody's sights, and Why Liberalism Failed will be an important contributor to the conversation, suggesting that we cannot work within the existing paradigm anymore. The philosophers will not solve our problems; working with our neighbors will. -Joshua Mitchell, Professor of Political Theory, Georgetown University Deneen writes with clarity, candor and superior scholarship to create one of the most absorbing political philosophy books of the past decade. No one who reads it, no one who considers its substance, will be able to think about the dynamics and the consequences of the American democratic experiment in quite the same way. -Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, author of Author of Strangers in a Strange Land This courageous and timely book is a major contribution to understanding the rude awakening in the Trump moment. It shows that we must transcend the death grip of the two oscillating poles of classical liberalism (of Republican and Democratic parties) and examine the deep assumptions that hold us captive. It also reveals that if we remain tied to liberalism's failure, more inequality, repression, and spiritual emptiness await us. -Cornel West, Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy, Harvard Patrick Deneen is a probing and gifted cultural critic, afire with controlled moral passion. Why Liberalism Failed provides a bracing antidote to the pieties of left and right by showing how an impoverished, bipartisan conception of liberty has imprisoned the public life it claims to have set free. One could not ask for a timelier or more necessary enrichment of our depleted political discourse. -Jackson Lears, Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of History, Rutgers University A path-breaking book, boldly argued and expressed in terms that might justifiably be called prophetic in character. -Wilfred M. McClay, G.T. and Libby Blankenship Chair in the History of Liberty, University of Oklahoma