Zoom Book Group: How To Be A Liberal by Ian Dunt

June’s book is How To Be A Liberal. Liberalism and the Fight for Its Life by Ian Dunt

Praise for How To Be A Liberal:

‘A tour de force; a mighty trumpet blast for the forces of liberalism and enlightenment in the face of a global tide of ignorance and populism.’ — THE SECRET BARRISTER

‘This is a history of ideas as it should be written – brilliant, vivid story-telling about the people who shaped liberalism, the challenges it has faced over the centuries, its commitment to the truth and why it’s now more important than ever to defend it.’ — CAROLINE LUCAS MP

‘Dunt’s gift for making complicated issues comprehensible is second to none. Courageous.’ — JAMES O’BRIEN, LBC

‘How To Be A Liberal is required reading for today’s political debates.’ — NICK COHEN, OBSERVER COLUMNIST

‘In an age of rampant nationalism and anti-intellectualism, this book urges us to celebrate complexity and diversity.

Dunt, editor of the website politics.co.uk, counterposes liberalism and nationalism, the latter of which, he writes, is based on a sixfold lie. Among its elements are the thought that we can have only one identity at a time, which makes us “part of the mass: an undifferentiated component of the whole,” and the contention that any difference from that mass is bad. We see the sixth component, “there is no such thing as truth,” enacted with every Trump tweet. As Orwell knew, when politicians can get away with lies, lie they will; if the concepts of truth and falsehood disappear, then they will do as they please. […]

‘A journalist who has come to prominence on Twitter as a staunch critic of Brexit, Dunt has delved into heavy academic theory and interpreted it in an accessible manner for the ordinary reader. He describes liberalism as “an enormous, boisterous, confounding bloody thing,” and writes passionately in its favour, as a counterweight to ignorance and populism. This book is required reading for anyone interested in politics and philosophy.’ ― PROSPECT MAGAZINE

The meeting will be held virtually using Zoom. Please follow the link (in the venue box) to join the meeting.

We will start the meeting at 7:30 pm.

At 7:35 pm we will break up into small groups. Those familiar with CLH Book Group meeting know how this works: in each group we take turns introducing ourselves and giving our 1 minute thoughts on the book. It’s important not to go over a minute and not to interrupt other people’s minute so that everyone gets a chance to participate. After this first round, each group discusses for another 20 minutes or so. Then we momentarily all go back to the main meeting before being allocated to the next small group where we repeat our introductions and 1 minute thoughts. We’ll do this a couple of times before coming all together at the end in one last big group. We’ll answer questions on the day or write them in the comments below.

If you can please support your local booksellers or check out uk.bookshop.org.

While we are very social and welcoming, the book group’s primary focus is on discussing books. The group works best when we have all read at least some of the book and are prepared to share our opinions.


Events are advertised on multiple online portals, and through email, so the RSVP numbers on any one portal will not reflect the actual greater attendance on the day.

We encourage dialogue, debate and sharing of information on our site but ask people to keep their comments cordial. Any views expressed here are those of the individual posting them and may not reflect those of the CLHG.


June 28


19:30 - 21:30

Click to Register: https://www.meetup.com/Central-London-Humanists/events/277769893/

Central London Humanists

Website: https://www.meetup.com/Central-London-Humanists/