Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship

Mormon Studies Review


Neil J. Young


politics, religion, mormon studies


Depending on how one feels about the 2016 election, reading a book titled Why Liberals Win (Even When They Lose Elections) might seem like either a deluded endeavor or much-needed balm. In his latest work, Stephen Prothero argues that liberals stand on the victorious side of history, if not always the ballot box, because they have won every culture war battle since the nation’s founding. Liberals win, Prothero contends, because conservatives launch culture wars to preserve a way of life that has already begun to change, an ill-fated effort that cannot turn back the progressive forces of history that churn ever forward toward fuller inclusion. That process not only grants victories to liberals but also mainstreams liberalism as the embattled liberal causes of one era become the accepted “American values” of the next.