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Research Guides


Current usage of the term "liberal" usually denotes a philosophy that looks to government action to help meet the needs of the individual. Modern usage developed out of the 19th century position of supporting civil and human rights against established monarchies, then to Depression era policies in which government was used aggressively to insure protection and regulation of civil liberties for all. Liberals generally support environmental legislation, universal health insurance, strong public welfare programs, and other uses of government in the areas of social and cultural development. Related to, and often confused with Progressives, Liberals are more willing to use government as a way to bring about change in society at many levels. See also Religion & Politics.

Web Sites

  • People for the American Way
    A nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, this group is very active in civil liberties, right to privacy, censorship and other issues impacting civil rights. It is highly critical of the "religious right," and has amassed a large document file on the activi ties of this conservative political movement.


  • Treehuggers; Web Resources for Social, Political, and Spiritual Liberals
    This site brings together about 300 annotated links to liberal and progressive web sites. Despite its name, it is not limited to environmental causes, but rather includes a wide range of issue-oriented links, from the death penalty to organic gardening to recycling.


  • Turn Left; the Home of Liberalism on the Web
    This site takes as its first mission the task of explaining liberalism. It includes a glossary and other helpful information.

Materials in the UW Libraries

  • American Prospect
    Suzzallo/Allen Stacks
    E838 A54

    Subtitled "a journal for the liberal imagination," this quarterly seeks to renew "America's democratic traditions by presenting a practical and convincing vision of liberal philosophy, politics and public life."


  • Contemporary Review
    Suzzallo/Allen Stacks
    AP4 C7

    Also Available Online

    Published in Great Britain, this monthly takes a global view of public affairs. Intellectual in presentation, and generally liberal in perspective, it is written in a comprehensible style and well researched. It covers the arts and religion, as well as more clearly political issues of the day.

  • Dissent
    Suzzallo/Allen Stacks
    HX1 D58

    Also Available Online

    A "magazine of the left," Dissent publishes articles examining U.S. politics and society. It also covers the issues in European politics.


  • George
    Suzzallo/Allen Stacks
    E839.5 G39

    A chatty, gossipy, glossy effort, during its short run George tried to carve out a reputation for behind the scenes information. It was edited by John Kennedy, Jr.


  • Mother Jones
    Microforms & Newspapers Collection
    Microfilm A11919

    Also Available Online

    One of the classic alternative magazines to come out of the 1970's, Mother Jones describes itself as liberal, but goes after all sides in any political controversy.


  • NACLA Report on the Americas
    Suzzallo/Allen Stacks
    F1401 N662

    Also Available Online


  • The Nation
    Odegaard Periodicals (Latest Edition), Suzzallo/Allen Stacks (Older Editions)
    AP2 N2

    One of the foremost liberal journals, The Nation, the oldest continually published weekly in the U.S., takes an unapologetic left-wing stance on the issues of the day. It even has a sense of humor about itself.


  • New Republic
    Suzzallo/Allen Stacks
    AP2 N624

    Also Available Online

    More balanced than its soulmate The Nation, the New Republic publishes even-handed commentary on public issues. It has been criticized by some liberals for losing its political fervor in the last several years.


  • New Statesman
    Suzzallo/Allen Stacks
    AP4 N65

    Also Available Online

    Published in London, the New Statesman represents the perspectives of the British Labour Party and covers the U.K. political scene in a substantive fashion, but also reports on American politics. It continues to devote a good part of its pages to a review of the arts and culture.


  • Village Voice
    Microforms & Newspapers Collection
    Microfilm A7015

    Also Available Online

    An alternative press paper that grew up, the Village Voice is very lively and entertaining, anything but objective. Look here for commentary on modern life and politics.


  • Washington Monthly
    Suzzallo/Allen Stacks
    AP2 W32

    Also Available Online

    This jaunty and outspoken journal takes on every troublesome issue it can find. Extremely opinionated, it has a clear editorial bias and covers federal political issues with liberal logic.