his book was published in 1955, when the horror and despair of two world wars, the Great Depression, and mass genocide were fresh memories, when democracy was still under full assault from warring ideologies and nuclear holocaust was a distinct possiblity. It was this era in which ideas attacking the liberal ideals of reason and progress and advocating irrationality and mystery gained large public following. The author summarizes some of the most convincing of these attacks, explains their attraction, and then exposes their fundamental flaws and contradictions. He redeems the liberal creed by showing it as unique among human notions in being able to effect real improvement in the human condition. And he examines why we are so susceptible to these attacks.