Pulitzer Prize-winning author-historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. says the United States may be heading for a new era of liberalism.

"I would even go so far as to say that George Bush's idea of a kinder and gentler nation is a reflection of a changing popular mood," the former White House aide to President Kennedy said in an appearance Sunday night at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Schlesinger said President Reagan's administration succeeded only as it "began to yield to the rising force of liberalism.""We need our own home-grown version of perestroika," he said, referring Mikhail Gorbachev's effort to salvage the economy of the Soviet Union, "but we need not despair. The United States has the resources to be a world leader for generations to come."