Democracy's Discontent: America in Search of a Public Philosophy

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Harvard University Press, 1998 - History - 417 pages
2 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.

 

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DEMOCRACY'S DISCONTENT: America in Search of a Public Philosophy

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A wide-ranging critique of American liberalism that, unlike many other current books on the matter, seeks its restoration as a guiding political ethic. ``Despite the achievements of American life in ... Read full review

Review: Democracy's Discontent: America in Search of a Public Philosophy

User Review  - will - Goodreads

Interesting examination of the erosion of (small 'r') republican values and exploration of how the virtue of civic participation might be restored. Lends an interesting alternative perspective to contemporary (and historical) political discourse. Read full review

Contents

The Public Philosophy of Contemporary Liberalism
3
Rights and the Neutral State
25
Religious Liberty and Freedom of Speech
55
Privacy Rights and Family Law
91
Economics and Virtue in the Early Republic
123
Free Labor versus Wage Labor
168
Community SelfGovernment and Progressive Reform
201
Liberalism and the Keynesian Revolution
250
The Triumph and Travail of the Procedural Republic
274
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Civil Society
John Ehrenberg
No preview available - 1999
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About the author (1998)

Michael J. Sandel is Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government at Harvard University.

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