David Greenberg

David Greenberg, a professor of journalism and media studies and of history at Rutgers University, is the author of Nixon's Shadow and Calvin Coolidge.

Recent Articles

Up With Rags

A Matter of Opinion by Victor S. Navasky (Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 464 pages, $27.00)

When I was in college and a member of my university's Liberal Party, a common question posed to candidates for party office was a dichotomy: “New Republic or Nation?” (The American Prospect did not yet exist.) Most people didn't hesitate. They picked The New Republic.

Liberals, Think Big

    Return to Greatness: How America Lost Its Sense of Purpose and What It Needs to Do to Recover It by Alan Wolfe (Princeton University Press, 224 pages, $22.95)

In recent years, the sociologist Alan Wolfe has emerged as one of America's most astute thinkers about religion, politics, and society. Unlike so many generalists who aspire to the label “public intellectual,” Wolfe's ideas have roots in his own continuing academic research; where clever controversialists like David Brooks and Christopher Hitchens wear poorly, as their endless tossing off of opinions lays bare a core shallowness, Wolfe draws from a deeper well, and his books and essays are the richer for it.

Action Liberalism

Eugene McCarthy: The Rise and Fall of Postwar American Liberalism by Dominic Sandbrook (Knopf, 416 pages, $25.95)

The Fall of the House of Roosevelt: Brokers of Ideas and Power from FDR to LBJ by Michael Janeway (Columbia University Press, 284 pages, $27.50)

The Guardians: Kingman Brewster, His Circle, and the Rise of the Liberal Establishment by Geoffrey Kabaservice (Henry Holt & Co., 592 pages, $30.00)

Father Figured

George Herbert Walker Bush (Penguin Lives Series)
By Tom Wicker, Lipper/Viking, 228 pages, $19.95

Goldwater's Glitter

Conservatives hail Barry Goldwater as a forerunner; liberals appreciate his belated moderation. But Goldwater wasn't the paragon a new biography makes him out to be.

Work Discussed in this Essay:

  • Robert Alan Goldberg, Barry Goldwater (Yale University Press,

Senator Barry Goldwater strode to the convention
podium. "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice!" he
declared, sending the assembled delegates into a frenzy. The scene was not San
Francisco, 1964. This was Dallas, 1984. "Members of the convention, we have
a leader, a real leader, a great commander-in-chief," Goldwater continued. "President
Ronald Reagan. And in your hearts you know he's right."