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Margins of Disorder
New Liberalism and the Crisis of European Consciousness
Margins of Disorder
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Gal Gerson - Author
Price: $95.00 
Hardcover - 247 pages
Release Date: August 2004
ISBN10: 0-7914-6147-5
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6147-1

Price: $32.95 
Paperback - 247 pages
Release Date: 
ISBN10: 0-7914-6148-3
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6148-8

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Traces how progressive liberals in Edwardian Britain responded to contemporary intellectual trends.

British liberalism in the period between 1870 and 1930 was a product of an era known for its intellectual crisis. During the late nineteenth century, the cohesion of reason and enlightenment was questioned in fields ranging from psychology, sociology, philosophy, biology, philology, and archaeology. In Margins of Disorder Gal Gerson considers the ways in which progressive Edwardian liberals such as Leonard Hobhouse, John Hobson, and Graham Wallas attempted to address the shift in their period's culture. New liberalism advocated government planning and expanded state services from liberal, rather than socialist, premises, and saw the sense of belonging to a community as a distinct, right-constituting human good. Gerson examines the concepts of mind, society, nature, and culture devised by new liberals over the course of several decades, and argues in favor of viewing them as a coherent stance, relevant to today's debates about the relations between market and welfare, justice and community.

“…the book is distinctive in its focus and does much to set the new liberals in a wider intellectual context than is usual. In seeing the new liberalism as largely a reaction against antienlightenment sentiment on the continent, steering a path between Fabianism and British idealism, Gerson gives much food for thought.” — Perspectives on Politics

“Gal Gerson has managed to discover and illuminate some of New Liberalism’s forgotten corners and add yet another chapter to the New Liberal ‘story.’” — Journal of British Studies

"The book's greatest virtue is the tale it tells of the encounter between liberal modernism in English social thought and its early postmodern enemies. Gerson succeeds in showing how new liberals tamed the revolt against reason, testifying to liberalism's adaptability and power in relation to socialism and conservatism. If indeed liberalism has become the hegemonic ideology that some claim, then Gerson's book helps us to see why." — David P. Weinstein, Wake Forest University

"I am very pleased with Gerson's willingness to consider the philosophical and political implications of the new liberals' decision to embrace the unruly in a way that maintained an enlightenment commitment to universality and order." — Jeanne Morefield, Whitman College

Gal Gerson is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Haifa.

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Table of Contents



Part I: Liberalism and Modernity

1. Liberalism: Fin de Siècle
2. A Complex Heritage
3. Toward the Comprehensive

Part II: Mind and Society: The Psychology of Individuals and Crowds

4. Citizenship and Mind
5. Psychology and Social Policy
6. New Liberal Criticism
7. The Great Society as a Model
8. The Psychology of the Great Society
9. Hobson on the Mind, the Crowd, and Disorder
10. A Century's View of the Mind

Part III: Nature: Genetics and Creative Evolution

11. Challenges to the Politics of Nature
12. Purpose in Chaos
13. Immanentism: Hobhouse on Evolution
14. Reclaiming Nature, Losing Nature

Part IV: Culture: Ritualism and Functionalism in the Study of Antiquity

15. Antiquity and Modernity
16. Classicists and Progressives
17. Moralizing Ritualism: Robertson and Burns
18. Gilbert Murray on Ritual
19. Francis Cornford on Religion and Philosophy
20. Antiquity to Postmodernity

Conclusion: The Endurance of Liberal England




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