Reich, “The Common Good”

Here’s another entry in an emerging genre that includes Mark Lilla’s “The Once and ReichFuture Liberal”: liberal public intellectuals arguing for an American “common good” that is intended to “unify” what appears to be an increasingly fractured country. Here, it is Robert Reich in The Common Good (Penguin Random House). Of course the idea of the “common good” is an ancient one, and finds one very powerful and influential expression in the writing of religious figures with philosophical interests. But it is interesting to note that though Reich aspires to “save America’s soul,” such accounts do not seem to figure at all in Reich’s account, which the blurb for the book claims is grounded “in everyday reality and common sense.”

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