In This Review In This Review
Politics and Vision: The ADA and American Liberalism, 1947-1985
By Steven M. Gillon
Oxford, 1987, 289 pp.
Based on manuscript collections, oral histories and interviews, this history of the Americans for Democratic Action is a model for how scholars should trace the connections of domestic politics with foreign policy. ADA members from the beginning were divided between allegiance to distant ideals and a commitment to politics as the art of the possible. The most painful crises and ultimate failure of the ADA revolved first around whether all issues should be subordinated to anti-communism and, then, around whether the Vietnam War was a practical failure or symptom of a fundamental perversion of American values. "Vietnam," writes Gillon, "was to liberalism what slavery was to the Civil War."
Source URL: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/reviews/capsule-review/1987-09-01/politics-and-vision-ada-and-american-liberalism-1947-1985