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Reminder: Post-Election Discussion on Thursday with Author Tom Waldman

By Eric Richardson
Published: Tuesday, November 11, 2008, at 01:43PM
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Don't forget to start your Art Walk night this Thursday by coming by the historic Farmers and Merchants Bank at 6pm for "What's Next for the Left and the Right?: A Post-Election Dialogue." Author Tom Waldman will be reading from his recent book and then engaging the audience in a forum about where liberals and conservatives are in the post-election landscape.

Waldman is the author of "Not Much Left: The Fate of Liberalism in America," published this year by the University of California Press. The book takes a look at what happened to term "liberal" in the 20th century. From Waldman's introduction:

Not Much Left treats the fate of liberalism as a historic event. I use anecdotes, analysis, and first-person interviews to construct a narrative of why and how liberalism suffered a steady decline in strength and influence from the early 1970s to the middle of the second term of George W. Bush.

... The book is not, in the strict sense, a prescriptive. It does not tell liberals -- wherever they may be -- what policies to pursue or positions to adopt in order to acquire political power. There are plenty of other books on the market with that purpose. Instead, Not Much Left seeks to explain why an ideology associated with some of the most significant legislation and social, political, and cultural movements of twentieth-century America, and espoused by FDR, Truman, and LBJ, should have become irrelevant, ineffective, and despised during the past thirty-five years. As we shall see, it is liberalism and liberals that are in large part to blame.

The discussion on Thursday is not intended to be about partisan issues, but instead to be an open look at what has shaped the two sides of the aisle and where they are headed going forward.

Doors for the event will open at 5:30pm, with the discussion starting at 6pm. It's scheduled to wrap up at 7pm, leaving plenty of time to go enjoy the Art Walk festivities, but Waldman plans to stick around for as long as people are interested in carrying on the discussion.

"What's Next for the Left and the Right?: A Post-Election Dialogue" / Farmers & Merchants Bank, 401 S. Main / Doors open at 5:30pm, Discussion from 6pm to 7pm / Free.

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