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Nature and History in American Political Development: A Debate

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Nature and History in American Political Development: A Debate Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In this inaugural volume of the Alexis de Tocqueville Lectures, political scientist James Ceaser traces the way certain ideas, including nature, history, and religion—which he calls foundational ideas—have been understood and used by statesmen and public intellectuals over the course of American history, from the Puritans to the current day. Ceaser treats these ideas not as pure concepts of philosophy or theology, but rather as elements of political discourse that provide the ground or ultimate appeal for other political ideas, such as liberty or equality. At times, they have critically influenced the course of American political development, offering various opportunities and constraints for political leaders. Ceaser traces the histories of these ideas and their relation to other ideas, to practices, and to the fortunes of successive partisan regimes.

Three critical commentators—historian Jack Rakove and political theorists Nancy Rosenblum and Rogers Smith—challenge Ceaser’s arguments in several ways. They suggest that other ideas may be considered foundational, and they prod him to clarify further how foundational ideas work politically. Ceaser responds with vigor, and the result is a spirited debate about large and enduring questions in American politics.

About the Author

James W. Ceaseris Professor of Politics, <>University of Virginia.Theda Skocpolis Professor of Sociology at <>Harvard University. Her previous works include the prize-winning States and Social Revolutions.<>Jack N. Rakoveis the William R. Coe Professor of History and American Studies and Professor of <>Political Science at Stanford Universityand author of the Pulitzer Prize — winning Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Theda N. Skocpol

1. Foundational Concepts and American Political Development
by James W. Ceaser

2. Can We Know a Foundational Idea When We See One?
by Jack N. Rakove

3. Replacing Foundations with Staging: "Second-Story" Concepts and American Political Development
by Nancy L. Rosenblum

4. What If God Was One of Us? The Challenges of Studying Foundational Political Concepts
by Rogers M. Smith

5. Foundational Concepts Reconsidered
by James W. Ceaser

Notes

About the Authors

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780674029309
Subtitle:
A Debate
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Creator:
James W. Ceaser
Author:
Smith, Rogers M.
Author:
James W. Ceaser
Author:
Rakove, Jack N.
Author:
Skocpol, Theda
Author:
Jack N. Rakove
Author:
Rosenblum, Nancy L.
Author:
Ceaser, James W.
Subject:
History & Theory
Subject:
History
Subject:
Ideology
Subject:
History & Theory - General
Subject:
Political Ideologies - Democracy
Subject:
Political Process - General
Subject:
United States Politics and government.
Subject:
Politics - General
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
The Alexis de Tocqueville Lectures on American Politics
Publication Date:
20060331
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.50 in

Related Subjects

Business » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » US History » General
Humanities » Philosophy » General

Nature and History in American Political Development: A Debate
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Product details 240 pages Harvard University Press - English 9780674029309 Reviews:
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