For someone whose really interested in liberalism instead of socialism, than I suggest you read about John F. Kennedy and Wendell Willkie. Because back in the early 1960s and really through that decade even with the emergence of the New-Left in the late 1960s, there was a common term on the Left called Cold War Liberal. Someone who believed that liberty was worth defending. That you needed to be both strong at home with as many people as possible who were doing well who were economically independent. With government having a responsibility to see that as many people as possible could live in freedom. But that again liberty was worth defending and you needed to be strong enough to defend yourself and help other countries who wanted freedom as well. Jack Kennedy was a Cold War Liberal.
Pre-1967 or so that was not just how liberalism was seen, but what it actually was and I at least argue that it still is. That liberalism hasn’t become a statist ideology with a welfare state in our economic lives and a nanny state in our personal lives. That what happened was the New-Left in America instead hijacked liberalism and took it away from the Center-Left where it has always been in America since the creation of the Federal Republic. And made it look like a Far-Left statist ideology that it is seen as today by way too many Americans. The New-Left comes on the scene with their socialist statist anti-military and law enforcement, establishment movement. Looking to tear down a lot of the things that has made America great.
The history of the New-Left is that of a socialist Far-Left movement that wanted and still wants to completely transform the American way of life and form of government. Bring Scandinavia to America, cut in half if not eliminate the American military. And create a central government good and big enough to take care of the people. Where individuals and states would no longer have to do that because Uncle Sam would step in and do that for them. The New Left of the 1960s is why there are New-Left publications like The Nation, Salon, AlterNet, TruthOut, TruthDig and many others today. Because the New-Left and the sons and daughters of the New-Left are around to give them that audience. And why we also have a Green Party today.