“Astute and nuanced, Paul Sabin uses Ralph Nader and the public interest movement he helped spawn to tell a fascinating story of American governance and the limits of markets, regulation, and citizen action.”
Richard White, author of Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America
In the 1960s and 1970s, an insurgent attack on traditional liberalism took shape in America, built on new ideals of citizen advocacy and the public interest.
Public Citizens traces the history of this public interest movement and explores its tangled legacy, showing the ways in which American liberalism has been at war with itself. The book forces us to reckon with the challenges of regaining our faith in government’s ability to advance the common good.
My new piece in @TheAtlantic on the liberal attack on big government liberalism in the 1960s and 70s.
Public Citizens was one of twelve new books recommended by the New York Times Book Review. The editors called it “a thoughtful careful account of how the adversarial liberalism of the late 1960s, as embodied by Ralph Nader, replaced New Deal liberalism and opened the door for Ronald Reagan’s antigovernment conservatism.”
Greatly enjoyed talking with Sam Seder on Majority Report about about changing liberal attitudes towards government since the 1950s and the role that liberal advocates played in challenging the post-war administrative state. Check out the episode and episode summary here.More News