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Liberalism as a Way of Life - Alexandre Lefebvre

Liberalism as a Way of Life

By: Alexandre Lefebvre

Paperback | 24 June 2024

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Why liberalism is all you need to lead a good, fun, worthy, and rewarding life and how you can become a better and happier person by taking your liberal beliefs more seriously

Where do you get your values and sensibilities from? If you grew up in a Western democracy, the answer is probably liberalism. Conservatives are right about one thing: liberalism is the ideology of our times, as omnipresent as religion once was. Yet, as Alexandre Lefebvre argues in Liberalism as a Way of Life, many of us are liberal without fully realizing it or grasping what it means. Misled into thinking that liberalism is confined to politics, we fail to recognize that it’s the water we swim in, saturating every area of public and private life, shaping our psychological and spiritual outlooks, and influencing our moral and aesthetic values our sense of what is right, wrong, good, bad, funny, worthwhile, and more. This eye-opening book shows how so many of us are liberal to the core, why liberalism provides the basis for a good life, and how we can make our lives better and happier by becoming more aware of, and more committed to, the beliefs we already hold.

A lively, engaging, and uplifting guide to living well, the liberal way, Liberalism as a Way of Life is filled with examples from television, movies, stand-up comedy, and social media from Parks and Recreation and The Good Place to the Borat movies and Hannah Gadsby. Along the way, you’ll also learn about seventeen benefits of being a liberal including generosity, humor, cheer, gratitude, tolerance, and peace of mind and practical exercises to increase these rewards.

You’re probably already waist-deep in the waters of liberalism. Liberalism as a Way of Life invites you to dive in.
Industry Reviews
' Liberalism as a Way of Life is one of the most original accounts of liberalism in a generation. With immense charm, insight, and lightly carried erudition, Lefebvre moves liberalism from a set of abstract claims to the art of living. It has the singular virtue of important books: it is serious fun.' - Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Princeton University

'Alexandre Lefebvre’s brilliant book brings to light an important dimension of liberalism that is hidden, as it were, in plain sight. Liberalism is not only a procedural, political, or legal concept, but also a moral and even spiritual one that serves as a guide for social transformation. Given the dire situation that liberalism faces around the world today, this message is especially important, and the book deserves a wide readership.' - Helena Rosenblatt, author of The Lost History of Liberalism

'As liberalism increasingly comes under attack from both the left and the right, Alexandre Lefebvre mounts a deep and stirring defense, steeped in intellectual history and tied to contemporary culture. Lefebvre emphasizes the great joys and benefits that come from embracing reciprocity, freedom, and fairness, to live liberally; and he develops a set of spiritual exercises through which we can learn to succeed at liberalism as a way of life. This is philosophical self-help of the highest order a literally extraordinary book.' - Daniel Markovits, author of The Meritocracy Trap

'The great virtue of Alexandre Lefebvre’s book is that it concedes one of the key points of antiliberals: Liberalism isn’t just a set of neutral procedures; it’s a comprehensive way of life that shapes the way we live and think and work and love in innumerable ways. Yet he insists that it’s a way of life worth robustly defending, which he does with a rare blend of cogency, grace, rigor, and wit. The more people who read this book, the better off we will be.' - Damon Linker, University of Pennsylvania

'Liberalism as a Way of Life is a fresh and deeply original exploration of exactly what its title promises. Provocative and beautifully written, it will change how we think about liberalism and maybe also how we think about ourselves.' - Stephen Macedo, author of Just Married

'In his amiable and conversational style, Alexandre Lefebvre offers the most persuasive defense of what liberalism stands for in the modern world. Through an ingenious rereading of John Rawls, Lefebvre makes it clear that liberalism isn’t neutral, as some of its advocates pretend, but is premised on a robust conception of the good life. This book is nothing short of thrilling.' - Samuel Moyn, author of Liberalism against Itself

'With wit and insight, this marvelous book tells you what it’s like to be a liberal, and how to be a good liberal. It’s written by a cheerful but highly reflective liberal, for liberals of all stripes including the grumpy, the overconfident, and the wavering. But it can also be read with profit and enjoyment by nonliberals, antiliberals, and even by the harbingers of liberalism’s doom.' - Chandran Kukathas, author of The Liberal Archipelago

'With force and subtlety, this groundbreaking book shows how everyday life inspires politics and values, and how these values are shared through popular culture. Indeed, one of the strengths of the book and what makes it so entertaining and instructive is the way Alexandre Lefebvre demonstrates how popular TV shows not just highbrow ones disseminate progressive ideas that have become quintessential to liberalism as a way of life and to the desire to defend it.' - Sandra Laugier, Panthéon-Sorbonne University

'It’s hard to express just how much I loved this book. With great humanity and plenty of humor, Lefebvre shows how liberal values and practices can help each of us live with generosity, integrity, and joy. Beautifully written and genuinely original this is liberalism as you’ve never seen it before. I cannot recommend it highly enough.' - Daniel Chandler, author of Free and Equal

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