The Second World War was a crisis not just for America but for the whole of Western Civilization and, in the wake of that war, a new crisis arose which came to be called the "Cold War:' Just when that gave the appearance of being resolved, the world reached a new juncture, a new crisis, which Samuel P. Huntington dubbed the "clash of civilizations:' The statesmen having political responsibility in confronting the first three crises in America's history came as close to philosophic grasp of the problems of liberal democracy as one could demand from those embroiled in the active resolution of events. Their reflection of political philosophy in the full sense informed their actions. --
Filling in the missing spaces left by traditional textbooks on American political thought, Reconsidering American Political Thought uses race, gender, and ethnicity as a lens through which to engage ongoing debates on American values and intellectual traditions. Weaving document-based texts analysis with short excerpts from classics in American literature, this book presents a re-examination of the political and intellectual debates of consequence throughout American history. Purposely beginning the story in 1619, Saladin Ambar reassesses the religious, political, and social histories of the colonial period in American history. Thereafter, Ambar moves through the story of America, with each chapter focusing on a different era in American history up to the present day. Ambar threads together analysis of periods including Thomas Jefferson’s aspiration to create an "Empire of Liberty," the ethnic, racial, and gender-based discourse instrumental in creating a "Yankee" industrial state between 1877 and 1932, and the intellectual, cultural, and social forces that led to the political rise of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama in recent decades. In closing, Ambar assesses the prospects for a new, more invigorated political thought and discourse to reshape and redirect national energies and identity in the Trump presidency. Reconsidering American Political Thought presents a broad and subjective view about critical arguments in American political thought, giving future generations of students and lecturers alike an inclusive understanding of how to teach, research, study, and think about American political thought.
Foundations of American Political Thought: Readings and Commentary explains American historical concepts and key political ideas from 1620 to 1910. In this primer for democracy, all verbatim passages and original documents point to their original intentions and ideological movements. Key terms and basic terminology are incisive and essential for a thorough understanding of democracy. This book represents the setting and trends that produced sound progress in American political growth.
African American Political Thought offers an unprecedented philosophical history of thinkers from the African American community and African diaspora who have addressed the central issues of political life: democracy, race, violence, liberation, solidarity, and mass political action. Melvin L. Rogers and Jack Turner have brought together leading scholars to reflect on individual intellectuals from the past four centuries, developing their list with an expansive approach to political expression. The collected essays consider such figures as Martin Delany, Ida B. Wells, W. E. B. Du Bois, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, and Audre Lorde, whose works are addressed by scholars such as Farah Jasmin Griffin, Robert Gooding-Williams, Michael Dawson, Nick Bromell, Neil Roberts, and Lawrie Balfour. While African American political thought is inextricable from the historical movement of American political thought, this volume stresses the individuality of Black thinkers, the transnational and diasporic consciousness, and how individual speakers and writers draw on various traditions simultaneously to broaden our conception of African American political ideas. This landmark volume gives us the opportunity to tap into the myriad and nuanced political theories central to Black life. In doing so, African American Political Thought: A Collected History transforms how we understand the past and future of political thinking in the West.
By affirming the relativity of the American historical imagination, political theorist Michael J. Shapiro offers a powerful polemic against ethnocentric interpretations of American culture and politics. Deforming American Political Thought analyzes issues that range from the nature of Thomas Jefferson's vision of an egalitarian nation to the persistence of racial inequality. Shapiro offers a multifaceted argument that transcends the myopic scope of traditional political discourse. Deforming American Political Thought illustrates the various ways in which history, architecture, film, music, literature, and art provide approaches to the comprehension of diverse facets of American political thought from the founding to the present. Using these seemingly disparate disciplines as a framework, Shapiro paints a picture of American political philosophy that is as distinctive as it enlightening. Shapiro explores the historically vital role of dissenting points of view in American politics and asserts its continuing importance in today's political landscape. Exploring such diverse works as slave narratives, contemporary films, genre fiction, and blues and jazz music, Shapiro reveals that there have always been dissenting voices casting doubt on the moral purpose and exceptionalism of the American mind. An unprecedented inquiry into American politics, Deforming American Political Thought will surely serve to reinvigorate discussions about the essence of American political thought.
This reader provides substantial extracts from the core texts in the field of American social and political thought. It demonstrates the rich intellectual tradition of the United States, giving an unparalleled understanding of American society and politics through the reproduction of key writings from a wide variety of thinkers. The first part covers the core traditions of American social and political thought—American Exceptionalism, Political Theology, Republicanism, Liberalism, and Pragmatism. In the second part, texts have been selected to demonstrate the ways in which these traditions have been applied to a broad range of issues and conditions. Exceptionally well-written and jargon-free, with helpful introductions and selections from Frederick Jackson Turner, Max Weber, Michael Sandel, John Rawls, C. Wright Mills, Sheldon Wolin, Judith N. Shklar, bell hooks, Michael Walzer and Richard Rorty, among others, American Social and Political Thought will be the core text in the field.
A concise overview of the competing political philosophies that have shaped United States history. Who are the most influential thinkers, and which are the most important concepts, events, and documents in the study of the American political tradition? How ought we regard the beliefs and motivations of the founders, the debate over the ratification of the Constitution, the historical circumstances of the Declaration of Independence, the rise of the modern presidency, and the advent of judicial supremacy? These are a few of the fascinating questions canvassed by George W. Carey in A Student’s Guide to American Political Thought. Carey’s primer instructs students on the fundamental matters of American political theory while telling them where to turn to obtain a better grasp on the ideas that have shaped the American political heritage.
Revised and updated, this long-awaited second edition provides a comprehensive introduction to the most important American statesmen, activists, and writers regardless of the historical era or political persuasion.