The Vital Center: The Politics of Freedom

The Vital Center is an eloquent and incisive defense of liberal democracy against its rivals to the left and to the right, communism and fascism. Originally published in 1949, it shows how the failures of free society led to the disenchantment of the masses with democracy, and sharpened the appeal of totalitarian solutions. The book calls for a radical reconstruction of the democratic polity based on a realistic understanding of human limitations and frailties.