A Tolerable Anarchy

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Mar 3, 2009 - Political Science - 304 pages
3 Reviews
In A Tolerable Anarchy, Jedediah Purdy traces the history of the American understanding of freedom, an ideal that has inspired the country’s best—and worst—moments, from independence and emancipation to war and economic uncertainty. Working from portraits of famous American lives, like Frederick Douglas and Ralph Waldo Emerson, Purdy asks crucial questions about our relationship to liberty: Does capitalism perfect or destroy freedom? Does freedom mean following tradition, God’s word, or one’s own heart? Can a nation of individuals also be a community of citizens? This is history that speaks plainly to our lives today, urging readers to explore our understanding of our country and ourselves, and a provocative look at one of America’s cherished principles.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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User Review  - dcunning11235 - LibraryThing

Deserving of a re-read. Purdy always manages to render, with much more clarity and breadth, many of my own thoughts. I will say this book left me a tiny bit confused at the end, as it became more ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - HistReader - LibraryThing

I must say, reading this book began well. In each chapter, Mr. Purdy wove up to a quartet of famous historical figures who epitomized the American sense of freedom. In the middle chapters he ... Read full review


The Sensations of Freedom
Declarations of Independence
The Search for Civic Dignity
War and Its Equivalents
Is Freedom Empty? Citizenship Sodomy
American Utopias
The Economics of 1776 and Today
The Value of Freedom
Fragments of 1 Free Economy
B ibl i0gra_p9 ir Essay 26 3
Index 285

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About the author (2009)

Jedediah Purdy teaches law at Duke University and has also taught at Yale and Harvard. Purdy is the author of For Common Things: Irony, Trust, and Commitment in America Today and Being America: Liberty, Commerce, and Violence in an American World, and has written for The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, Democracy, and other publications.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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