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Democracy's Discontent: America in Search of a Public Philosophy
Synopses & Reviews
The defect, Sandel maintains, lies in the impoverished vision of citizenship and community shared by Democrats and Republicans alike. American politics has lost its civic voice, leaving both liberals and conservatives unable to inspire the sense of community and civic engagement that self-government requires.
In search of a public philosophy adequate to our time, Sandel ranges across the American political experience, recalling the arguments of Jefferson and Hamilton, Lincoln and Douglas, Holmes and Brandeis, FDR and Reagan. He relates epic debates over slavery and industrial capitalism to contemporary controversies over the welfare state, religion, abortion, gay rights, and hate speech. Democracy's Discontent provides a new interpretation of the American political and constitutional tradition that offers hope of rejuvenating our civic life.
Book News Annotation:
Sandel (government, Harvard U.) adds his views to the growing recognition that beneath American affluence and social justice lies a suspicion of government, a lack of control of our lives, and the unraveling of the moral fabric. He traces the problem to an impoverished vision of citizenship and community and a loss of a civic voice that prevents both liberals and conservatives from inspiring a sense of community and civil engagement that self- government requires. He calls for storytellers who can create an inspiring and convincing society to strive toward.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Includes bibliographical references (p. -406) and index.
About the Author
Michael J. Sandel is the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government, Harvard University, and the author most recently of Public Philosophy (Harvard).
Table of Contents
PART I: THE CONSTITUTION OF THE PROCEDURAL REPUBLIC
Conclusion: In Search of a Public Philosophy
What Our Readers Are Saying