Nick Cohen What's Left?:
How Liberals Lost Their Way
Fourth Estate, 400 pages, £12.99

The author of this book, a respected columnist on Britain’s venerable Sunday newspaper of liberal outlook, The Observer, was born into a family in which it was assumed, as a settled matter beyond reasonable doubt, that all intelligent, cultivated, and decent people were on, and of, the Left, and that there was no serious intellectual or moral case to be made for any type of conservatism. Conservatives were not merely wrong but bad, at best motivated by a fear of change and at worst by their own narrowly material interests (the Left at that time had no material interests, at least in its own estimation). Conservatives might sometimes win elections, of course, but that was no reason to take anything they said seriously.

There comes a time, however, in many a leftist’s life when he looks around...