The Myth of Left and Right: How the Political Spectrum Misleads and Harms America (Paperback)

The Myth of Left and Right: How the Political Spectrum Misleads and Harms America By Verlan Lewis, Hyrum Lewis Cover Image
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A groundbreaking argument that the political spectrum today is inadequate to twenty-first century America and a major source of the confusion and hostility that characterize contemporary political discourse.

As American politics descends into a battle of anger and hostility between two groups called "left" and "right," people increasingly ask: What is the essential difference between these two ideological groups? In The Myth of Left and Right, Hyrum Lewis and Verlan Lewis provide the surprising answer: nothing. As the authors argue, there is no enduring philosophy, disposition, or essence uniting the various positions associated with the liberal and conservative ideologies of today. Far from being an eternal dividing line of American politics, the political spectrum came to the United States in the 1920s and, since then, left and right have evolved in so many unpredictable and even contradictory ways that there is currently nothing other than tribal loyalty holding together the many disparate positions that fly under the banners of "liberal" and "conservative." Powerfully argued and cutting against the grain of most scholarship on polarization in America, this book shows why the idea that the political spectrum measures deeply held worldviews is the central political myth of our time and a major cause of the confusion and vitriol that characterize public discourse.

About the Author

Hyrum Lewis is an associate professor of history at Brigham Young University-Idaho. He received his PhD from the University of Southern California and was previously a visiting scholar at Stanford University. Verlan Lewis is a visiting Scholar in the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and the Stirling Professor of Constitutional Studies at Utah Valley University. He received graduate degrees from Cambridge University and the University of Virginia and did postdoctoral work in the Stanford University Department of Political Science. He is also the author of Ideas of Power: The Politics of American Party Ideology Development (2019).

Product Details
ISBN: 9780197680629
ISBN-10: 0197680623
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication Date: January 6th, 2023
Pages: 168
Language: English