The Liberal Imagination by Lionel Trilling

The Liberal Imagination is one of the most admired and influential works of criticism of the last century, a work that is not only a masterpiece of literary criticism but an important statement about politics and society. Published in 1950, one of the chillier moments of the Cold War, Trilling's essays examine the promise --and limits--of liberalism, challenging the complacency of a naive liberal belief in rationality, progress, and the panaceas of economics and other social sciences, and asserting in their stead the irreducible complexity of human motivation and the tragic inevitability of tragedy. Only the imagination, Trilling argues, can give us access and insight into these realms and only the imagination can ground a reflective and considered, rather than programmatic and dogmatic, liberalism.

The 57th greatest nonfiction book of all time


This book is on the following lists:

  1. - 32nd on The 100 Best Non-Fiction Books of the Century (National Review)
  2. - 56th on The Modern Library | 100 Best Nonfiction (The Modern Library)
  3. - The 50 Best Books of the Century (Intercollegiate Studies Institute)
  4. - 100 Major Works of Modern Creative Nonfiction (About.com)

Buy This Book

Name Binding Sales Rank Lowest New Lowest Used Published
Liberal Imagination: Essays on Literature and Society (Peregrine Books) Paperback 8060616 $178.44 $11.00 1970
The Liberal Imagination (New York Review Books Classics) Paperback 474312 $11.57 $4.95 2008
The Liberal Imagination : Essays on Literature and Society Hardcover 2549114 $13.91
The Liberal Imagination Paperback 4004833 $4.99
The Liberal Imagination (New York Review Books Classics) Paperback 9917326 $11.82 $9.81 2008
The Liberal Imagination (New York Review Books Classics) Kindle Edition 223978 $10.17 2012
The Liberal Imagination Paperback 9918267 $6.65
The Liberal Imagination Hardcover 4248829 $12.35
The Liberal Imagination: Essays on Literature and Society Paperback 6719824 $1.69 1950
The liberal imagination: Essays on literature and society Paperback 2782934 $85.56 $4.00
The liberal imagination: Essays on literature and society Hardcover 5500839 $19.60
The liberal imagination;: Essays on literature and society (Doubleday anchor books, A 13) Mass Market Paperback 8039643 $3.35
Liberal Imagination: 2 Hardcover 6933879 $17.06 1950
The Liberal Imagination Lionel Trilling Anchor A13 Paperback 11006092 $3.99 1954