cover of book

Takeover: How the Left's Quest for Social Justice Corrupted Liberalism
by Donald T. Critchlow and W.J. Rorabaugh
Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2012
eISBN: 978-1-61017-060-4 | Cloth: 978-1-61017-059-8
Library of Congress Classification JC574.2.U6C75 2012
Dewey Decimal Classification 320.5130973


How did liberals get to be the way they are today?

That’s the question many Americans have been asking—particularly after the ascent of Barack Obama, the most left-wing president in American history. At last, historians Donald T. Critchlow and W. J. Rorabaugh supply the answer.

The authors show that it is a mistake to see the Obama administration’s sweeping agenda as a single man’s vision. Equally flawed, they reveal, is the now-common argument that today’s liberalism is simply a continuation of the progressivism that Woodrow Wilson embodied a century ago. Today’s Left has embraced a more radical vision for transformative change: to remake nearly every aspect of American life.

Takeover completely reshapes our understanding of America’s current political situation. This bold revisionist history delineates the sharp break in the history of modern liberalism that began in the 1960s, when new-style progressive activists left behind their protest rallies to infiltrate the establishment.

Critchlow and Rorabaugh reveal:

•How Obama almost certainly could not have become president if 1970s progressive activists had not rewritten the Democratic Party’s presidential nominating rules
•How radical leaders pioneered the use of the courts to impose their agenda
•From Roe v. Wade to Dr. Kevorkian: how partial-birth abortion became “the right to choose” and euthanasia became “the right to die with dignity”
•The inside story of liberals’ decades-long struggle to nationalize health care
•How today’s environmentalism reflects the Left’s anticorporate, anticonsumption ethos
•The progressive paradox: how elites gain more control even as they employ the rhetoric of “choice” and “power to the people”

Critchlow and Rorabaugh masterfully connect the dots in America’s recent history, showing the close links among such seemingly unrelated causes as radical environmentalism, nationalized health care, class warfare, abortion rights, feminism, caps on energy use, assisted suicide, and sex education. Takeover will forever change how you view liberalism and the political debate in America.

Nearby on shelf for Political theory. The state. Theories of the state / Purpose, functions, and relations of the state: