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"Why Liberalism Failed" Spring Seminar Series

This semester, the Society is hosting a spring seminar series on Patrick Deneen's groundbreaking 2018 book, Why Liberalism Failed. Each week, students independently read an excerpt and then gather to discuss the text at a weekly meeting. Sessions are guided by Professor Darel Paul, who taught Deneen's book in his political science senior seminar. The seminar is open to all members of the Williams community.


Having the unique honor of being named a finalist for 2019 ISI Conservative Book of the Year and being listed on President Obama's recommended reading list, Why Liberalism Failed is a searing indictment of the political status quo. Deneen traces the most profound crises of modernity—distrust of government, wealth inequality, secularism, the uprooting effects of globalism, the leviathan state, and personal alienation, to name a few—to "insidious" flaws lying at the core of the liberal political project. Certain that liberalism cannot be redeemed, Deneen urges us toward a new path characterized by "the cultivation of cultures of community, care, self-sacrifice, and small-scale democracy", a more humane world worth believing in.


Paperback copies of Why Liberalism Failed are generously provided by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.

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