The major thesis of this book is that there is a power structure in America called "the Liberal Establishment" and that it works in concert (though not necessarily by pre-arrangement) on most major political issues. Its sphere of operations is the federal government, its distilled ideological essence can be found in the Americans for Democratic Action, and its most effective support is apparent in the communications media.
The author charges that the growth of federal government under liberal auspices is responsible for the whittling away of property rights and "where property rights have fallen the demise of other rights have not been far behind." Evans says that in its yen for ad hoc power and in the randomness of its "pragmatism," the Kennedy and Johnson administrations have made possible and commonplace such practices as the management of the news, harassment of dissenters, wiretapping, censorship and denial of due process.
He gives familiar examples of liberal "protection," of "security risks" (Oppenheimer, Lattimore, et al.), and other cases of what he calls "authentic dissension" in which the drift of the Establishment towards the total state is obvious. Though their premises are quite distinct, both conservatives and radicals of the left would find much to agree with in Evans' book.
For example, he finds social democracy in Britain and on the continent far "more consistent, more structured, and more rational than liberalism in America." Is the question then more simply put--"who's got the action"?