American Political Thought: A Norton Anthology

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Isaac Kramnick, Theodore J. Lowi
W.W. Norton, 2009 - Political Science - 1531 pages
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Instructors will find a rich and versatile selection of readings on major themes, from democracy and the liberal-conservative dialogue to women's rights, race, and religion in American politics. This new collection offers exceptional value and ease-of-use in the convenient, single-volume Norton Anthology format.

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Isaac Kramnick and Theodore Lowi's textbook is a valuable resource for any student in the political science field. Many of the most important pieces in American political literature are included in the 1500+ page book, ranging from John Winthop's "A Modell of Christian Charity" to Allan Bloom's "The Closing of the American Mind". With many of the pieces being primary source documents, one can truly feel how they felt when writing them. However, this book is certainly not without faults.
One of the most glaring omissions is the introduction of Thomas Paine's "Common Sense". One of the best beginnings of any political work was left out for mysterious reasons. Also, Abraham Lincoln's "Lyceum Address" did not find its way into the book, despite that the speech introduced Lincoln to the American political scene. It's worth noting that the pages are woefully thin, so highlighting should be avoided for the fear of it bleeding through.
Overall, it does a sufficient job of covering America since the Puritans but one cannot help but wonder why some pieces were either left out or edited out. The book had the potential to be really special but just fell short.

About the author (2009)

Isaac Kramnick is the Richard J. Schwartz Professor of Government at Cornell University. His many books include Bolingbroke and His Circle, The Rage of Edmund Burke, Republicanism and Bourgeois Radicalism, Harold Laski: A Life on the Left, and most recently, with R. Laurence Moore, The Godless Constitution: A Moral Defense of the Secular State.

Theodore Jay Lowi was born in Gadsden, Alabama on July 9, 1931. He received a bachelor's degree from Michigan State University and a master's degree and a doctorate in political science from Yale University. He taught at Cornell University from 1959 to 1965, returned in 1972 and remained the John L. Senior professor of American institutions until he was granted emeritus status in 2015. He was a political scientist who wrote numerous books including The End of Liberalism: The Second Republic of the United States, The Politics of Disorder, American Government: Incomplete Conquest, The Personal President, and Hyperpolitics: An Interactive Dictionary of Political Science written with Mauro Calise. He also edited The Pursuit of Justice by Robert F. Kennedy. He died on February 17, 2017 at the age of 85.

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