Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post opinion writer George Will devoted his Sept. 5, 2012 column to a new book by CMC's Charles Kesler, the Dengler-Dykema Distinguished Professor of Government. Kesler's book, released this month, is praised by Will as "a serious intellectual exegesis by a distinguished philosopher."
"In I Am the Change: Barack Obama and the Crisis of Liberalism (September 2012, Broadside Books)," Will writes, "Charles Kesler of Claremont McKenna College rightly says Obama is playing a long, high-stakes game.'"
Will goes on to name transformative progressives who preceded Obama in efforts to emancipate government "from the Founders' constraining premises," including presidents Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson.
Writes Will: As Kesler says, the logic of progressivism is: "Since our rights are dependent on government, why shouldn't we be?" This is the real meaning of Obama's most characteristic rhetorical trope, his incessant warning that Americans should be terrified of being "on your own." Read the full column. Kesler's I Am the Change continues to generate media interest. The book earned the attention of Fred Siegel, a scholar in residence at St. Francis College, and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. In a Sept. 10 piece he turned around for The Wall Street Journal called, Twilight of the Left, Siegel writes: Drawing on his wide reading in philosophy and American political thought, Mr. Kesler argues that Mr. Obama has been shaped by the political tradition of Progressivism and that his 2008 triumph has helped, in turn, to reshape it. Read the full review in The Wall Street Journal.
On Monday, Sept. 17, Kesler talked about the book on The Michael Medved Show. He has also been invited to discuss I Am the Change on The Hugh Hewitt Show on Wednesday, Sept. 19, from 5-6 p.m., PST.
Kesler is the editor of the Claremont Review of Books. He is a Senior Fellow of the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy, and coeditor, with William F. Buckley Jr., of Keeping the Tablets: Modern American Conservative Thought.