(This program was originally broadcast live on July 28, 2020)
Tom's guest is Adam Gopnik, a staff writer for The New Yorker Magazine for the past 34 years. The author of numerous books, including eclectic essay collections and children's novels, Gopnik's latest is an homage to liberalism.
The book explores liberalism's roots with the French Renaissance philosopher, Michel de Montaigne, and the so-called Age of Enlightenment, and traces its history through the present day. Gopnik observes that liberalism was preceded by humanism and the affection for and elevation of a sense of community, forged around shared choices. He calls it a fact-first philosophy with a feelings-first history. It favors reform over revolution. It is premised in love and empathy, and what he calls “a belief that the sympathy that binds human society together can disconnect us from our clannish & suspicious past.”