Abstract

Abstract:

Albert Hirschman's The Rhetoric of Reaction: Perversity, Futility, Jeopardy offers two sets of insights, designated roughly by the title and subtitle. Both are arresting, the subtitle because it seems so right and the title because history has proven it wrong, at least for now. Together they illuminate contemporary American politics. In Hirschman's analysis, perversity, futility, and jeopardy are arguments that conservatives use to halt progressive reforms. But in American politics of the past few decades, the political valence of these three arguments is often reversed, so that liberals use arguments of perversity, futility, and jeopardy to try to halt conservative reforms.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1944-768X
Print ISSN
0037-783X
Pages
pp. 597-611
Launched on MUSE
2018-11-02
Open Access
No
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