Left Adrift

Left Adrift
What Happened to Liberal Politics

A rivalry that remade the political world as we know it today

Politics today doesn’t look much like it did fifty years ago. Electorates that were once divided by economics—with blue-collar workers supporting leftwing parties while the wealthy trended right—are now more likely to split along cultural lines. Campaigns have gone high-tech, hoping to use big data and sophisticated mathematical models to turn electioneering into a science. Meanwhile, a permanent class of political consultants has emerged, replacing the ward-heeling party hacks of yesteryear with teams of pollsters, message gurus, and field operatives. Taken together, all this amounts to a silent revolution that has transformed politics across much of the globe.

The two leading political consultants in their time who have led this transformation are Stan Greenberg and Doug Schoen. They were Zeligs of the international center-left, with an eerie talent for showing up at just the right moment to see history being made. But they could not stand each other. The mutual disdain was, partly, a result of professional jealousy, of decades spent nursing private grievances while competing for the same clients. But it grew out of a deeper conflict, a clash of political visions that raised fundamental questions about democracy itself. Left Adrift is about that battle—and the world it made.

Left Adrift
  • ISBN: 9798987053669
  • Price: $18.00
  • E-book ISBN: 9798987053676
  • On Sale: October 8, 2024

About the author

Timothy Shenk
© Renu Regunathan-Shenk

Timothy Shenk is an assistant professor of history at George Washington University. A senior editor at Dissent magazine, he has written for the New York Times, the Nation, the New Republic, and Jacobin, among other publications. He has been a Mellon postdoctoral fellow at Washington University in St. Louis and has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the New America Foundation.  @Tim_Shenk