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The Cause: A Book Discussion with Eric Alterman

Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 6:00pm

Demos and World Policy Institute present:

The Cause: The Fight for American Liberalism from Franklin Roosevelt to Barack Obama
A Book Discussion  and Reception with Eric Alterman

Wednesday, May 23
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

 at Demos
220 Fifth Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10001
This discussion is open to the public. Advance registration and payment are required to reserve a seat.

Since the end of the Second World War, liberalism has played a central role in the evolution of U.S. foreign policy. Writing in 1947, the liberal intellectuals Reinhold Neibuhr and Arthur Schlesinger said, “We must purposefully use our strength and prosperity to restore social and economic health to a broken world; and we must recognize that our power must be used wisely and discreetly, else we activate profound misgivings about American imperialism.” From the establishment of the United Nations and the Cold War to Vietnam, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the Iraq War, the American Left has attempted to translate its core values to the international arena, at times serving as a force of opposition and galvanization.

In his new book The Cause, WPI senior fellow Eric Alterman traces the history of the liberal tradition in postwar America, examining the successes and failures of a movement that, in the words of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, has the tendency to “overpromise and underperform.” Alterman will discuss how domestic liberalism has shaped the U.S.’s actions overseas, including antiwar movements, international economic and trade policy, and views on communism, terrorism, and international cooperation.

About the Author

Eric Alterman is a bestselling author, award-winning journalist and historian, as well as Distinguished Professor of English and Journalism at Brooklyn College and CUNY Graduate School of Journalism; a columnist for The Nation and a regular contributor to The Daily Beast; and a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, the Nation Institute, and the World Policy Institute. The author of eight previous books, he lives in New York City.  To learn more about Eric Alterman, please visit


Wednesday, May 23
6:00 PM to 7:30 PM


220 Fifth Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10001

Payment and Registration

This discussion and reception is open to the public. Advance registration and payment are required to reserve a seat.

The Cause: The Fight for American Liberalism from Franklin Roosevelt to Barack Obama  (list price $32.95) will be on sale at the event for $20; $15 for WPI Members.

  • Event is Free for WPI members
  • Regular Admission: $15; admission + book: $30
  • Nonprofit Admission: $10; admission + book: $25
  • Student Admission: $5; admission + book: $20

WPI Members: 
Register by emailing by May 21 with your name and affiliation. 

Payments can be made online via PayPal, below.

Eric Alterman - "The Cause" - May 23, 2012

To pay by check, make checks payable to World Policy Institute and sent to:

World Policy Institute
220 Fifth Ave, Ninth Floor
New York, NY 10001

Call the World Policy Institute Events line at 212.481.5005, Option 2, with any event-related questions.

About the Sponsors

Demos is a non-partisan public policy research and advocacy organization founded in 2000. Headquartered in New York City, Demos works with advocates and policymakers around the country in pursuit of four overarching goals: a more equitable economy with widely shared prosperity and opportunity; a vibrant and inclusive democracy with high levels of voting and civic engagement; an empowered public sector that works for the common good; and responsible U.S. engagement in an interdependent world.

The World Policy Institute, a non-partisan global think tank, engages fresh ideas and new voices from around the world to address critical shared challenges. WPI's Fellows program, regular public and private events, policy development, media activities, and flagship World Policy Journal provide a forum for solution-focused policy analysis and debate. It seeks and promotes policy solutions in support of an inclusive and sustainable global market economy, effective global governance, and broadened security strategies.




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