The American Dream has long been a dominant theme in U.S. culture, one with enduring significance, but these are difficult times for dreamers. The editors of and contributors to The American Dream in the 21st Century examine the American Dream historically, socially, and economically and consider its intersection with politics, religion, race, gender, and generation.
The conclusions presented in this short, readable volume provide both optimism for the faith that most Americans have in the possibility of achieving the American Dream and a realistic assessment of the cracks in the dream. The last presidential election offered hope, but the experts here warn about the need for better programs and policies that could make the dream a reality for a larger number of Americans.
American social critics in the 1970s seized on narcissism as the sickness of the age. But they missed the psychoanalytic breakthrough that championed it as the wellspring of ambition, creativity, and empathy. Elizabeth Lunbeck's history opens a new view on the central questions faced by the self struggling amid the crosscurrents of modernity.
Asian Values and Human Rights
William Theodore De Bary Harvard University Press, 1998 Library of Congress JC599.A78D4 1998 | Dewey Decimal 323.095
Scott A Sandage Harvard University Press, 2005 Library of Congress HN90.M6S25 2005 | Dewey Decimal 303.372097309034
This is a pioneering work of American cultural history, which connects everyday attitudes and anxieties about failure to lofty ideals of individualism and salesmanship of self. Sandage's storytelling will resonate with all of us as it brings to life forgotten men and women who wrestled with The Loser--the label and the experience--in the days when American capitalism was building a nation of winners.
Building the South Side explores the struggle for influence that dominated the planning and development of Chicago's South Side during the Progressive Era. Robin F. Bachin examines the early days of the University of Chicago, Chicago’s public parks, Comiskey Park, and the Black Belt to consider how community leaders looked to the physical design of the city to shape its culture and promote civic interaction.
Bachin highlights how the creation of a local terrain of civic culture was a contested process, with the battle for cultural authority transforming urban politics and blurring the line between private and public space. In the process, universities, parks and playgrounds, and commercial entertainment districts emerged as alternative arenas of civic engagement.
“Bachin incisively charts the development of key urban institutions and landscapes that helped constitute the messy vitality of Chicago’s late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century public realm.”—Daniel Bluestone, Journal of American History
"This is an ambitious book filled with important insights about issues of public space and its use by urban residents. . . . It is thoughtful, very well written, and should be read and appreciated by anyone interested in Chicago or cities generally. It is also a gentle reminder that people are as important as structures and spaces in trying to understand urban development."
Center: Ideas and Institutions
Edited by Liah Greenfeld and Michel Martin University of Chicago Press, 1988 Library of Congress HM24.C37 1988 | Dewey Decimal 306
There are several concepts within the social sciences that refer to the fundamental realities on which the various disciplines focus their attention. The concept of the "center," as defined by Edward Shils, has such a status in sociology, for it deals with and attempts to provide an answer to the central question of the discipline—the question of the constitution of society.
"Center" is a commonly used term with a variety of meanings. According to editors Liah Greenfeld and Michel Martin, "center" carries a twofold meaning when used as a concept. In its first sense, it is a synonym for "central value system," referring to irreducible values and beliefs that establish the identity of individuals and bind them into a common universe. In its second sense, "center" refers to "central institutional system," the authoritative institutions and persons who often express or embody the central value system. Both meanings imply a corresponding idea of "periphery," referring both to the elements of society that need to be integrated and to institutions and persons who lack authority.
The original essays compiled in this volume examine and apply the concept of the center in different contexts. The contributors come from a broad range of disciplines—classics, religion, philosophy, history, literary criticism, anthropology, political science, and sociology—which serves to underscore the far-reaching significance of the Shilsean theory of society. The interrelated subsets of the "center-periphery" theme addressed here include: symbolic systems, intellectuals, the expansion of the center into the periphery, parallel concepts in the work of other scholars besides Shils, and the paths of research inspired by these concepts. The volume features an introspective essay by Shils himself, in which he reexamines his central ideas in the light of new experiences and the ideas of others, some of them contained in this volume.
By drawing together such diverse scholars around a unified idea, this collection achieves a cohesion that makes it an exciting contribution to the comparative analysis of social and cultural systems. A collective effort in social theory, Center: Ideas and Institutions is a testimony to the breadth and complexity of one of man's ideas.
Sissela Bok University of Missouri Press, 2002 Library of Congress BD232.B595 2002 | Dewey Decimal 170
In Common Values, now with a new preface,Bok writes eloquently and clearly while combining moral theory with practical ethics, demonstrating how moral values apply to all facets of life—personal, professional, domestic, and international. Drawing on a great deal of historical material, Bok also includes in her examination consideration of the 1993 United Nations World Conference on Human Rights; the World Parliament of Religions; the publication of Veritatis Splendor, Pope John Paul II's proclamation on morality; and the International Commission of Global Governance. Bok's defense of shared morality addresses a crucial topic for our time.
Explores the various aspects of recent debates over the independence of the social sciences. The contributors are Kenneth E. Boulding, Harvey Brooks, Jonathan R. Cole, Stephen Cole, Lee J. Cronbach, Paul Doty, Yaron Ezrahi, Charles Frankel, H. Field Haviland, Hugh Hawkins, Harry G. Johnson, Robert Nisbet, Nicholas Rescher, Edward Shils, and Adam Yarmolinksy. The essays deal with such topics as the relation of "values" to "facts" in social science inquiry; the interplay of theoretical and practical considerations; the moral obligations of social science investigators in political contexts; and the ways and means of protecting and advancing the autonomy of the social sciences.
Educating for Virtue
Joseph Baldacchino American Philanthropic, 1988 Library of Congress LA217.E365 1988 | Dewey Decimal 370.110973
In Educating for Virtue, five scholars address one of the most pressing issues of our time: the relationship between education and the development of moral character. With essays by Claes G. Ryn, Russell Kirk, Paul Gottfried, Peter J. Stanlis, Solveig Eggerz.
From the Foreword:
“If there is a single thread that runs through these essays, it is the recognition of a universal order that transcends the flux of human life and gives meaning to it. Insofar as men act in accordance with this order, they experience true happiness and are brought into community with others who are similarly motivated. But men are afflicted with contrary impulses that are destructive of universal order. When acted upon, these impulses bring suffering and a sense of meaninglessness and despair; the result is disintegration and conflict--within both the personality and society at large. Yet so tempting are the attactions of these impulses that they frequently prevail and must be taken into account in any realistic assessment of human affairs. This tension within the person between competing desires--the conflict between what Plato called the One and the Many--is the ultimate reality of human experience. To apprehend this reality, and to act in the light of the transcendent purpose with appropriate reverence and restraint, is the essence of wisdom; and to help deepen and strengthen this apprehension--through philosophy, history, literature, and the arts and sciences--is the overarching purpose of any education worthy of the name.”
Embroidering the Scarlet A traces the evolution of the “fallen woman” from the earliest novels to recent representations in fiction and film, including The Scarlet Letter, The Sound and the Fury, The Color Purple, and Love Medicine, and the films Juno and Mother and Child. Interweaving her own experience as a pregnant teen forced to surrender her daughter and pledge secrecy for decades, Ellerby interrogates “out-of-wedlock” motherhood, mapping the ways archetypal scarlet women and their children have been exiled as social pariahs, pardoned as blameless pawns, and transformed into empowered women. Drawing on narrative, feminist, and autobiographical theory, the book examines the ways that the texts have affirmed, subverted, or challenged dominant thinking and the prevailing moral standards as they have shifted over time. Using her own life experience and her uniquely informed perspective, Ellerby assesses the effect these stories have on the lives of real women and children. By inhabiting the space where ideology meets narrative, Ellerby questions the constricting historical, cultural, and social parameters of female sexuality and permissible maternity.
As a feminist cultural critique, a moving autobiographical journey, and an historical investigation that addresses both fiction and film, Embroidering the Scarlet A will appeal to students and scholars of literature, history, sociology, psychology, women’s and gender studies, and film studies. The book will also interest general readers, as it relates the experience of surrendering a child to adoption at a time when birthmothers were still exiled, birth records were locked away, and secrecy was still mandatory. It will also appeal to those concerned with adoption or the cultural shifts that have changed our thinking about illegitimacy.
Abortion, euthanasia, racism, sexism, paternalism, the rights of children, the population explosion, and the dynamics of economic growth are examined in the light of ethical principles by leading philosophers in order to suggest reasonable judgments.
Originally prepared for the distinguished Wayne Leys Memorial Lecture Series at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, the essayists have addressed themselves to the most pressing ethical questions being asked today. William K. Frankena, Professor Emeritus, University of Michigan, in “The Ethics of Respect for Life” argues for a qualified view of moral respect for human personality. From his viewpoint it is always prima facie wrong to shorten or prevent human life, but not always actually wrong as other moral conditions may counter the presumed wrong. The late William T. Blackstone in “Zero Population Growth and Zero Economic Growth” contends that justice will require the production of the maximal level of goods to fulfill basic human needs compatible with the avoidance of ecological catastrophe.
Richard Wasserstrom, Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Santa Cruz, proposes an assimilationist ideal in “Racism, Sexism, and Preferential Treatment.” Gerald Dworkin, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Illinois, Chicago Circle, dares to ask “Is More Choice Better than Less?” Joel Feinberg, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Arizona, in “The Child’s Right to an Open Future,” offers a defense of “rights-in-trust” of children. Tom L. Beauchamp, Professor of Philosophy and Senior Research Scholar at the Kennedy Institute-Center for Bioethics of Georgetown University, considers the paternalism used to justify social policies in the practice of medicine and insists that it invariably involves a conflict between the ethical principles of beneficence and autonomy.
The freedom of the individual to aim high is a deeply rooted part of the American ethos but we rarely acknowledge its flip side: failure. If people are responsible for their individual successes, is the same true of their failures? The Failed Individual brings together a variety of disciplinary approaches to explore how people fail in the United States and the West at large, whether economically, politically, socially, culturally, or physically. How do we understand individual failure, especially in the context of the zero-sum game of international capitalism? And what new spaces of resistance, or even pleasure, might failure open up for people and society?
“Cultural instructions.” Everyone who has handled a package of seedlings has encountered that enigmatic advisory. This much water and that much sun, certain tips about fertilizer, soil, and drainage. Planting one sort of flower nearby keeps the bugs away but proximity to another sort makes bad things happen. Young shoots might need stakes, and watch out for beetles, weeds, and unseasonable frosts. It’s a complicated business.
But at least since Cicero introduced the term cultura animi (“cultivation of the mind or spirit”), such “cultural instructions” have applied as much to the realm of civilization as to horticulture. In this wide-ranging investigation into the vicissitudes of culture in the twenty-first century, the distinguished critic Roger Kimball traces the deep filiations between cultivation as a spiritual enterprise and the prerequisites of political freedom. Drawing on figures as various as James Burnham, Richard Weaver, G. K. Chesterton, Rudyard Kipling, John Buchan, Friedrich von Hayek, and Leszek Kolakowski, Kimball traces the interconnections between what he calls the fortunes of permanence and such ambassadors of anarchy as relativism, multiculturalism, and the socialist-utopian imperative.
With his signature blend of wit and erudition, Kimball deftly draws on the resources of art, literature, and political philosophy to illuminate some of the wrong turns and dead ends our culture has recently pursued, while also outlining some of the simple if overlooked alternatives to the various tyrannies masquerading as liberation we have again and again fallen prey to. This rich, rewarding, and intelligent volume bristles with insights into what the nineteenth-century novelist Anthony Trollope called “The Way We Live Now.”
Partly an exercise in cultural pathology, The Fortunes of Permanence is also a forward-looking effort of cultural recuperation. It promises to be essential reading for anyone concerned about the direction of Western culture in an age of anti-Western animus and destructive multicultural fantasy.
Perhaps no other person could ever achieve the preeminent position in American history and culture occupied by George Washington. Born in 1732, Washington’s life–long commitment to self-improvement and discipline helped him become a legend in his own lifetime. Whether as a statesman, military man, or America’s first president, Washington created a legacy that has scarcely diminished in over two centuries. Yet the passage of time and the superlatives reserved for Washington have knit together and made it difficult to find the real man. Historian and editor John P. Kaminski has amassed an extraordinary body of quotations by and about George Washington that brings us closer to the essence of this great leader. This collection paints an intricate picture of the man who Henry 'Lighthorse' Lee of Virginia eulogized as: "First in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen."
In this comparative anthropological analysis, Louis Dumont illuminates German and French ideology, European culture, and cultural interaction. His analysis of texts by Troeltsch, Thomas Mann, Goethe, and others, against the background of previously gathered evidence and of French common notions, specify the differences—otherwise frequently but vaguely alluded to—between French and German cultures.
Anyone interested in the fate of national ideology and the concept of the individual will benefit from this radical reinterpretation of modern values and the place of modernity in history.
"What François Furet did for French history, Dumont did for anthropology, turning it away from engaged politics and towards the sober study of the modern age." —Mark Lilla, London Review of Books
"There are many fine things in Dumont's study. Beyond any doubt, his cultural anthropology of the modern spirit highlights some of the key energies of the of the last two centuries. . . . [An] impressive . . . detailed analysis." —Martin Swales, Times Higher Education Supplement
William Sloane Coffin offers here a powerful antidote to the politics of the religious right with a clarion call to passive intellectuals and dispirited liberals to reenter the fray with an unabashedly Christian view of social justice. Refusing to cede the battlefield of morality to conservatives, he argues that “compassion demands confrontation,” as he considers such topics as homophobia, diversity, nuclear weapons, and civil discourse. Coffin became famous while chaplain at Yale in the 1960s for his active opposition to the Vietnam War. Jailed as a civil rights “Freedom Rider,” indicted by the government in the Benjamin Spock conspiracy trial, he attained popular immortality as Reverend Sloan in the Doonesbury comic strip. The seven pieces collected here are peppered with memorable aphorisms and pithy, political one-liners meant to turn bitterness to anger and anger to action.
The first full-length study of same-sex love in any period of Russian or Soviet history, Homosexual Desire in Revolutionary Russia investigates the private worlds of sexual dissidents during the pivotal decades before and after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. Using records and archives available to researchers only since the fall of Communism, Dan Healey revisits the rich homosexual subcultures of St. Petersburg and Moscow, illustrating the ambiguous attitude of the late Tsarist regime and revolutionary rulers toward gay men and lesbians. Homosexual Desire in Revolutionary Russia reveals a world of ordinary Russians who lived extraordinary lives and records the voices of a long-silenced minority.
As Bill Clinton said in his second inaugural address, “The divide of race has been America’s constant curse.” In Honor Bound, David Leverenz explores the past to the present of that divide. He argues that in the United States, the rise and decline of white people’s racial shaming reflect the rise and decline of white honor. “White skin” and “black skin” are fictions of honor and shame. Americans have lived those fictions for over four hundred years.
To make his argument, Leverenz casts an unusually wide net, from ancient and modern cultures of honor to social, political, and military history to American literature and popular culture.
He highlights the convergence of whiteness and honor in the United States from the antebellum period to the present. The Civil War, the civil rights movement, and the election of Barack Obama represent racial progress; the Tea Party movement represents the latest recoil.
From exploring African American narratives to examining a 2009 episode of Hardball—in which two white commentators restore their honor by mocking U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder after he called Americans “cowards” for not talking more about race—Leverenz illustrates how white honor has prompted racial shaming and humiliation. The United States became a nation-state in which light-skinned people declared themselves white. The fear masked by white honor surfaces in such classics of American literature as The Scarlet Letter and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and in the U.S. wars against the Barbary pirates from 1783 to 1815 and the Iraqi insurgents from 2003 to the present. John McCain’s Faith of My Fathers is used to frame the 2008 presidential campaign as white honor’s last national stand.
Honor Bound concludes by probing the endless attempts in 2009 and 2010 to preserve white honor through racial shaming, from the “birthers” and Tea Party protests to Joe Wilson’s “You lie!” in Congress and the arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr. at the front door of his own home. Leverenz is optimistic that, in the twenty-first century, racial shaming is itself becoming shameful.
For over twenty-five years Ronald Inglehart and his colleagues have been collecting survey data on the beliefs and opinions of people all over the world on a variety of topics. This work led Inglehart to expound his noted theory about the development of post-materialist values in developed countries and explore its effect on politics. This book, based on the most comprehensive of these surveys, the World Values Survey conducted in over forty countries from 1990-93, publishes for the first time all of the findings of this survey. The questions cover issues such as politics, economics, religion, family life, and gender roles, and reflect differences in response by age, gender, economic standing, and education.
This book provides a wealth of data that will appeal to social scientists, journalists, people in international business, and policy makers interested in understanding social, political, or cultural attitudes in different countries.
Ronald Inglehart is Professor of Political Science, University of Michigan, and coauthor of Value Change in Global Perspective, as well as many other books and articles. Miguel Basanez is Professor of Political Science, Institutio Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico, and director of MORI de Mexico. Alejandro Moreno is Professor of Political Science, Institutio Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico.
Most of the existing research on economic history relies either solely or ultimately on calculations of material interest to explain the major events of the modern world. However, care must be taken not to rely too heavily on materialism, with its associated confidence in perfectly rational actors that simply do not exist. What is needed for a more cogent understanding of the long history of capitalist growth is a more realistic, human-centered approach that can take account of the role of nonmaterial values and beliefs, an approach convincingly articulated by Deirdre McCloskey in her landmark trilogy of books on the moral and ethical basis of modern economic life.
With Humanism Challenges Materialism in Economics and Economic History, Roderick Floud, Santhi Hejeebu, and David Mitch have brought together a distinguished group of scholars in economics, economic history, political science, philosophy, gender studies, and communications who synthesize and build on McCloskey’s work. The essays in this volume illustrate the ways in which the humanistic approach to economics that McCloskey pioneered can open up new vistas for the study of economic history and cultivate rich synergies with a wide range of disciplines. The contributors show how values and beliefs become embedded in the language of economics and shape economic outcomes. Chapters on methodology are accompanied by case studies discussing particular episodes in economic history.
"Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels" -SAMUEL JOHNSON, 1775
"a tightly reasoned, excellently written book that should be lethally effective in helping readers who aren't experts understand the contours of the crisis." -TOLEDO BLADE
Updated and revised following the 2004 elections, The Last Refuge describes the current state of American politics against the backdrop of mounting ecological and social problems, the corrosive influence of money, the corruption of language, and the misuse of terrorism as a political issue.
Setting out an agenda that transcends conventional ideological labels, David Orr contends that partisan wrangling is only a symptom of a deeper dysfunction: The whole political machinery that connects Americans' fundamentally honorable ideals with public policy is broken. The book offers a withering critique of the failings of the Bush administration, supplemented by new essays that look at the national-level dominance of the Republican Party and examine the fallacy that the evangelical right represents a Christian majority.
After analyzing the challenges of reforming the current system, Orr offers an empowering vision of a second American Revolution that peaceably achieves sustainability and charts a hopeful course for forward-looking citizens.
Liberty, equality, and justice have long been treasured in American culture as core values. In Liberty, Equality, and Justice, Ross Evans Paulson studies social and intellectual changes in a critical period of American history—from the end of the Civil War to the early days of the Depression—and argues that attempts to achieve civil rights, women’s rights, and the regulation of business faltered because so many Americans ranked liberty for themselves higher than equality with others and justice for all. Surveying a crucial period in the formation of the modern state and society, Paulson examines the prevailing conflicts of the time and the limitations of various attempts to institute reform, radical change, or ritualistic renewal of American society. His reading of existing scholarship highlights contested social constructs, clashing priorities, changing meanings of key terms, and shifting institutional dynamics in light of their contributions to a complex tragedy in which all parties fell short of the demands for democratic mutuality. Along with discussions of the movements and manipulations of presidential, congressional, and judicial politics, he integrates the experiences of diverse populations—including African Americans, women, Asian immigrants, Native Americans, and working people—and offers a new interpretation of the ways in which social change and political events interact to reframe the many possibilities of American society.
In Managing "Modernity," Rudra Sil examines how institution-builders respond to the competing influences of institutional models and inherited social legacies as they attempt to generate and sustain authority in late-industrializing societies. Through a historical and comparative study of large-scale enterprises in Japan and Russia, the book examines the impact of different institution-building strategies on managerial authority, invoking the experience of postwar Japan to highlight the benefits of a syncretic approach that selectively integrates adaptable features of borrowed institutions with portable norms inherited from preexisting communities.
Managing "Modernity" engages a variety of intellectual perspectives in the social sciences. The theoretical approach represents a conscious effort to overcome the contentious debates in political science and sociology among proponents of historical institutionalism, cultural analysis, and rational-choice theory. The substantive argument draws on, and partially integrates, concepts and findings from comparative politics, economic sociology, industrial relations, organization theory, business management, and the political economy of Japan and Russia.
In light of ongoing debates over the significance and impact of "globalization," the eclectic and integrative approach in Managing "Modernity" offers a fresh and provocative contribution that will interest scholars and graduate students across a variety of disciplines and subfields. It offers compelling insights to anyone generally concerned with the social forces that facilitate or hinder the diffusion of ideas and institutions across national boundaries.
Rudra Sil is Janice and Julian Bers Assistant Professor in the Social Sciences, Department of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania.
It is one thing to comprehend how culture makes its way through the world in those cases where something old is reproduced in the same physical shape-where, for example, a song is sung or a story retold. It is another thing altogether, as Greg Urban demonstrates, to think about cultural motion when something new is created-a new song or a new story. And this, the creating of new culture, is the overarching value of the contemporary world, as well as the guiding principle of the capitalist entrepreneur.
From the Declaration of Independence to the movie Babe, from the Amazon River to the film studio, from microscopic studies of the words making up myths and books to the large-scale forces of conquest, conversion, and globalization that drive history, Urban follows the clues to a startling revelation: "metaculture" makes the modern, entrepreneurial form of culture possible. In Urban’s work we see how metaculture, in its relationship to newness, explains the peculiar shape of modern society and its institutions, from the prevalence of taste and choice to the processes of the public sphere, to the centrality of persuasion and hegemony within the nation.
Drawing on remarkably frank, in-depth interviews with 160 successful men in the United States and France, Michèle Lamont provides a rare and revealing collective portrait of the upper-middle class—the managers, professionals, entrepreneurs, and experts at the center of power in society. Her book is a subtle, textured description of how these men define the values and attitudes they consider essential in separating themselves—and their class—from everyone else.
Money, Morals, and Manners is an ambitious and sophisticated attempt to illuminate the nature of social class in modern society. For all those who downplay the importance of unequal social groups, it will be a revelation.
"A powerful, cogent study that will provide an elevated basis for debates in the sociology of culture for years to come."—David Gartman, American Journal of Sociology
"A major accomplishment! Combining cultural analysis and comparative approach with a splendid literary style, this book significantly broadens the understanding of stratification and inequality. . . . This book will provoke debate, inspire research, and serve as a model for many years to come."—R. Granfield, Choice
"This is an exceptionally fine piece of work, a splendid example of the sociologist's craft."—Lewis Coser, Boston College
In this classic text, the first full-scale application of cognitive science to politics, George Lakoff analyzes the unconscious and rhetorical worldviews of liberals and conservatives, discovering radically different but remarkably consistent conceptions of morality on both the left and right. For this new edition, Lakoff adds a preface and an afterword extending his observations to major ideological conflicts since the book's original publication, from the impeachment of Bill Clinton to the 2000 presidential election and its aftermath.
When Moral Politics was first published two decades ago, it redefined how Americans think and talk about politics through the lens of cognitive political psychology. Today, George Lakoff’s classic text has become all the more relevant, as liberals and conservatives have come to hold even more vigorously opposed views of the world, with the underlying assumptions of their respective worldviews at the level of basic morality. Even more so than when Lakoff wrote, liberals and conservatives simply have very different, deeply held beliefs about what is right and wrong.
Lakoff reveals radically different but remarkably consistent conceptions of morality on both the left and right. Moral worldviews, like most deep ways of understanding the world, are unconscious—part of our “hard-wired” brain circuitry. When confronted with facts that don’t fit our moral worldview, our brains work automatically and unconsciously to ignore or reject these facts, and it takes extraordinary openness and awareness of this phenomenon to pay critical attention to the vast number of facts we are presented with each day. For this new edition, Lakoff has added a new preface and afterword, extending his observations to major ideological conflicts since the book's original publication, from the Affordable Care Act to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the recent financial crisis, and the effects of global warming. One might have hoped such massive changes would bring people together, but the reverse has actually happened; the divide between liberals and conservatives has become stronger and more virulent.
To have any hope of bringing mutual respect to the current social and political divide, we need to clearly understand the problem and make it part of our contemporary public discourse. Moral Politics offers a much-needed wake-up call to both the left and the right.
Moral Politics takes a fresh look at how we think and talk about political and moral ideas. George Lakoff analyzed recent political discussion to find that the family—especially the ideal family—is the most powerful metaphor in politics today. Revealing how family-based moral values determine views on diverse issues as crime, gun control, taxation, social programs, and the environment, George Lakoff looks at how conservatives and liberals link morality to politics through the concept of family and how these ideals diverge. Arguing that conservatives have exploited the connection between morality, the family, and politics, while liberals have failed to recognized it, Lakoff explains why conservative moral position has not been effectively challenged. A wake up call to political pundits on both the left and the right, this work redefines how Americans think and talk about politics.
New Threats to Freedom
Adam Bellow Templeton Press, 2011 Library of Congress JC423.B3437 2010 | Dewey Decimal 323
New Threats to Freedom
In the twentieth century, free people faced a number of mortal threats,ranging from despotism, fascism,
and communism to the looming menace of global terrorism. While the struggle against some of these overt dangers continues, some insidious new threats seem to have slipped past our intellectual defenses. These often unchallenged threats are quietly eroding our hard-won freedoms and, in some cases, are widely accepted as beneficial.
In New Threats to Freedom, editor and author Adam Bellow has assembled an all-star lineup of innovative thinkers to challenge these insidious new threats. Some leap into already raging debates on issues such as Sharia law in the West, the rise of transnationalism, and the regulatory state. Others turn their attention to less obvious threats, such as the dogma of fairness, the failed promises of the blogosphere, and the triumph of behavioral psychology.
These threats are very real and very urgent, yet this collection avoids projecting an air of doom and gloom. Rather, it provides a blueprint for intellectual resistance so that modern defenders of liberty may better understand their enemies, more effectively fight to preserve the meaning of freedom, and more surely carry its light to a new generation.
What are the new threats to freedom?
when has authority not claimed, when imposing trammels and curbs on liberty, that it does so for a wider good and a greater happiness?” —Christopher Hitchens
“The regulatory state amounts to a regressive tax that penalizes small independent producers and protects
the status quo.” —Max Borders
“Europe tends to favor stability over democracy, America democracy over stability.” —Daniel Hannan
“The value of free expression is perceived to be at odds with goals that were considered ‘more important,’ like inclusiveness, diversity, nondiscrimination, and tolerance.” —Greg Lukianoff
“The masses cannot ultimately be free: only the individual can be.” —Robert D. Kaplan
“That old bugbear of postwar sociology—the mob-self—is now a reality. In a participatory/popularity culture, the freedom to think and act for ourselves becomes harder and harder to achieve.” —Lee Siegel
“As traditional marriage declines, the ranks of single women are growing, and increasingly these women are substituting the security of a husband with the security of the state.” —Jessica Gavora
“Ending the freedom to fail is a mean-spirited attack on the freedom to succeed.” —Michael Goodwin
“The only solution to the new threats to American press freedom lies in organized resistance.” —Katherine Mangu-Ward
“The new behaviorism isn’t interested in protecting people’s freedom to choose; on the contrary, its core principle is the idea that only by allowing an expert elite to limit choice can individuals learn to break their bad habits.” —Christine Rosen
“There’s a world of Travis Bickles out there, and they’re not driving cabs. They’re reading blogs.” —Ron Rosenbaum
“The first amendment ensures not that speech will be fair, but that it will be free. It cannot be both.” —David Mamet
One of the pioneers of modern sociology, Max Scheler (1874-
1928) ranks with Max Weber, Edmund Husserl, and Ernst
Troeltsch as being among the most brilliant minds of his
generation. Yet Scheler is now known chiefly for his
philosophy of religion, despite his groundbreaking work in
the sociology of knowledge, the sociology of emotions, and
phenomenological sociology. This volume comprises some of
Scheler's most interesting work—including an analysis of the
role of sentiments in social interaction, a sociology of
knowledge rooted in global social and cultural comparisons,
and a cross-cultural theory of values—and identifies some of
his important contributions to the discussion of issues at
the forefront of the social sciences today.
Editor Harold J. Bershady provides a richly detailed
biographical portrait of Scheler, as well as an incisive
analysis of how his work extends and integrates problems of
theory and method addressed by Durkheim, Weber, and Parsons,
Harold J. Bershady, professor of sociology at the University
of Pennsylvania, is the author of Ideology and Social Knowledge and the editor of Social Class and Democratic Leadership.
Some say that public policy can be made without the benefit of theory—that it emerges, instead, through trial-and-error. Others see genuine philosophical issues in public affairs but try to resolve them through fanciful examples. Both, argues Robert E. Goodin, are wrong.
Goodin—a political scientist who is also an associate editor of Ethics—shows that empirical and ethical theory can and should guide policy. To be useful, however, these philosophical discussions of public affairs must draw upon actual policy experiences rather than contrived cases. Further, they must reflect the broader social consequences of policies rather than just the dilemmas of personal conscience.
Effectively integrating the literatures of social science, policy science, and philosophy, Goodin provides a theoretically sophisticated yet empirically well-grounded analysis of public policies, the principles underlying them, the institutions shaping them, and the excuses offered for their failures. This analysis is enhanced by the author's discussion of such specific cases as the disposal of nuclear wastes and the priority accorded national defense—cases that illustrate Goodin's theoretical and methodological framework for approaching policy issues.
In The Queen of America Goes to Washington City, Lauren Berlant focuses on the need to revitalize public life and political agency in the United States. Delivering a devastating critique of contemporary discourses of American citizenship, she addresses the triumph of the idea of private life over that of public life borne in the right-wing agenda of the Reagan revolution. By beaming light onto the idealized images and narratives about sex and citizenship that now dominate the U.S. public sphere, Berlant argues that the political public sphere has become an intimate public sphere. She asks why the contemporary ideal of citizenship is measured by personal and private acts and values rather than civic acts, and the ideal citizen has become one who, paradoxically, cannot yet act as a citizen—epitomized by the American child and the American fetus. As Berlant traces the guiding images of U.S. citizenship through the process of privatization, she discusses the ideas of intimacy that have come to define national culture. From the fantasy of the American dream to the lessons of Forrest Gump, Lisa Simpson to Queer Nation, the reactionary culture of imperilled privilege to the testimony of Anita Hill, Berlant charts the landscape of American politics and culture. She examines the consequences of a shrinking and privatized concept of citizenship on increasing class, racial, sexual, and gender animosity and explores the contradictions of a conservative politics that maintains the sacredness of privacy, the virtue of the free market, and the immorality of state overregulation—except when it comes to issues of intimacy. Drawing on literature, the law, and popular media, The Queen of America Goes to Washington City is a stunning and major statement about the nation and its citizens in an age of mass mediation. As it opens a critical space for new theory of agency, its narratives and gallery of images will challenge readers to rethink what it means to be American and to seek salvation in its promise.
Rising gas prices, sprawl and congestion, global warming, even obesity—driving is a factor in many of the most contentious issues of our time. So how did we get here? How did automobile use become so vital to the identity of Americans? Republic of Drivers looks back at the period between 1895 and 1961—from the founding of the first automobile factory in America to the creation of the Interstate Highway System—to find out how driving evolved into a crucial symbol of freedom and agency.
Cotten Seiler combs through a vast number of historical, social scientific, philosophical, and literary sources to illustrate the importance of driving to modern American conceptions of the self and the social and political order. He finds that as the figure of the driver blurred into the figure of the citizen, automobility became a powerful resource for women, African Americans, and others seeking entry into the public sphere. And yet, he argues, the individualistic but anonymous act of driving has also monopolized our thinking about freedom and democracy, discouraging the crafting of a more sustainable way of life. As our fantasies of the open road turn into fears of a looming energy crisis, Seiler shows us just how we ended up a republic of drivers—and where we might be headed.
The Short American Century
Andrew J. Bacevich Harvard University Press, 2012 Library of Congress E169.12.S5152 2012 | Dewey Decimal 973.91
In February 1941, Henry Luce announced the arrival of “The American Century.” But that century—extending from World War II to the recent economic collapse—has now ended, victim of strategic miscalculation, military misadventures, and economic decline. Here some of America’s most distinguished historians place the century in historical perspective.
Social and Political Philosophy
Peter A. French, Theodore E. Uehling Jr., and Howard K. Wettstein, Editors University of Minnesota Press, 1982 Library of Congress JC571.S697 1982 | Dewey Decimal 320.011
Social and Political Philosophy was first published in 1982. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
Thrift: A Cyclopedia
David Blankenhorn Templeton Press, 2008 Library of Congress HC110.C6B57 2008 | Dewey Decimal 332.0240097303
In today's consumer-driven society, extolling the virtues of thrift might seem like a quaint relic of a bygone era. Americans have embraced the ideas of easy credit, instant gratification, and spending as a tool to combat everything from recessions to the effects of natural disasters and terrorist attacks. In David Blankenhorn's new compendium, Thrift: A Cyclopedia, he reminds readers of a time when thrift was one of America's most cherished cultural values.
Gathering hundreds of quotes, sayings, proverbs, and photographs of Blankenhorn's vast personal collection of thrift memorabilia, this handsome book is a treasure trove of wisdom from around the world and throughout the ages. Readers will find insights from such varied sources as the Bible, the Qur'an, William Shakespeare, Karl Marx, Oscar Wilde, J. C. Penney, and Warren Buffett. Entries are serious, inspiring, occasionally humorous, and they will go a great way toward expanding the narrow perception of thrift as simple penny pinching; replacing that myopic view with one of a broader thrift—one that, as William H. Kniffen puts it, "earns largely and spends wisely" and leads to a life of independence and comfort well into old age.
Educators and parents will find ample wisdom to pass on to the next generation about the value of hard work, saving for the future, and generosity. Historians will delight in the glimpses into the U.S. thrift movement of the 1920s. Those seeking encouragement and inspiration will find much material here for reflection on the ideals of good stewardship, diligence, and sound financial planning. As our society ails from wastefulness, growing economic inequality, indebtedness, and runaway consumerism, there could be no stronger cure than this powerful little word, "thrift", which finds its root meaning in the word "thrive."
In the 1630s the Netherlands was gripped by tulipmania: a speculative fever unprecedented in scale and, as popular history would have it, folly. We all know the outline of the story—how otherwise sensible merchants, nobles, and artisans spent all they had (and much that they didn’t) on tulip bulbs. We have heard how these bulbs changed hands hundreds of times in a single day, and how some bulbs, sold and resold for thousands of guilders, never even existed. Tulipmania is seen as an example of the gullibility of crowds and the dangers of financial speculation.
But it wasn’t like that. As Anne Goldgar reveals in Tulipmania, not one of these stories is true. Making use of extensive archival research, she lays waste to the legends, revealing that while the 1630s did see a speculative bubble in tulip prices, neither the height of the bubble nor its bursting were anywhere near as dramatic as we tend to think. By clearing away the accumulated myths, Goldgar is able to show us instead the far more interesting reality: the ways in which tulipmania reflected deep anxieties about the transformation of Dutch society in the Golden Age.
“Goldgar tells us at the start of her excellent debunking book: ‘Most of what we have heard of [tulipmania] is not true.’. . . She tells a new story.”—Simon Kuper, Financial Times
Ethnocentrism—our tendency to partition the human world into in-groups and out-groups—pervades societies around the world. Surprisingly, though, few scholars have explored its role in political life. Donald Kinder and Cindy Kam fill this gap with Us Against Them, their definitive explanation of how ethnocentrism shapes American public opinion.
Arguing that humans are broadly predisposed to ethnocentrism, Kinder and Kam explore its impact on our attitudes toward an array of issues, including the war on terror, humanitarian assistance, immigration, the sanctity of marriage, and the reform of social programs. The authors ground their study in previous theories from a wide range of disciplines, establishing a new framework for understanding what ethnocentrism is and how it becomes politically consequential. They also marshal a vast trove of survey evidence to identify the conditions under which ethnocentrism shapes public opinion. While ethnocentrism is widespread in the United States, the authors demonstrate that its political relevance depends on circumstance. Exploring the implications of these findings for political knowledge, cosmopolitanism, and societies outside the United States, Kinder and Kam add a new dimension to our understanding of how democracy functions.
In this pioneering work, Paul R. Abramson and Ronald Inglehart show that the gradual shift
from Materialist values (such as the desire for economic and physical security) to Post-materialist values (such as the desire for freedom, self-expression, and the quality of life) is in all likelihood a global phenomenon. Value Change in Global Perspective analyzes over thirty years worth of national surveys in European countries and presents the most comprehensive and nuanced discussion of this shift to date. By paying special attention to the way generational replacement transforms values among mass publics, the authors are able to present a comprehensive analysis of the processes through which values change.
In addition, Value Change in Global Perspective analyzes the 1990-91 World Values Survey, conducted in forty societies representing over seventy percent of the world's population. These surveys cover an unprecedentedly broad range of the economic and political spectrum, with data from low-income countries (such as China, India, Mexico, and Nigeria), newly industrialized countries (such as South Korea) and former state-socialist countries in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. This data adds significant new meaning to our understanding of attitude shifts throughout the world.
Value Change in Global Perspective has been written to meet the needs of scholars and students alike. The use of percentage, percentage differences, and algebraic standardization procedures will make the results easy to understand and useful in courses in comparative politics and in public opinion.
Paul R. Abramson is Professor of Political Science, Michigan State University. Ronald Inglehart is Professor of Political Science and Program Director, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan.
In this daring study of queer life and the public sphere, Eric O. Clarke examines the effects of inclusion within public culture. Departing from studies that emphasize homophobia and its mechanisms of exclusion, Virtuous Vice details how mainstream efforts to represent queers affirmatively continually fall short of full democratic enfranchisement. Clarke draws on contemporary writings along with late-eighteenth- and nineteenth-century English and European cultural history to investigate how concepts of value, representation, and homoeroticism have interacted and circulated in the West since the Enlightenment. Examining the role of eroticism in citizenship and why only normalizing constructions of homosexuality enable inclusion, Clarke reconsiders the work of Habermas and Foucault in relation to contemporary visibility politics, Kant’s moral and political theory, Marx’s analysis of value, and the sexualized dynamics of the Victorian cultural public sphere. The juxtaposition of Habermas with Foucault reveals the surprising value of reading the former in the context of queer politics and the usefulness of the theory of the public sphere for understanding contemporary identity politics and the visibility politics of the 1990s. Examining how a host of nonsexual factors impinge historically upon the constitution of sexual identities and practices, Clarke negotiates the relation between questions of publicity and categories of value. Discussions of television sitcoms (such as Ellen), marketing techniques, authenticity, and literary culture add to this daring analysis of visibility politics. As a critique of the claim that equal representation of gays and lesbians necessarily constitutes progress, this significant intervention into social theory will find enthusiastic readers in the fields of Victorian, cultural, literary, and gay and lesbian studies, as well as other fields engaged with categories of identity.
“Invaluable . . . The book that Americans need now.” —National Review
The Essential Guide to Rolling Back the Progressive Assault and Putting America Back on Course
Many Americans are concerned, frightened, angry. The country, it seems, is on the wrong track.
But what is the right course for America? Knowing what we stand against is not the same as knowing what we stand for.
Just in time, Matthew Spalding provides the plan for translating angst into proper action in this essential book—a #2 Washington Post bestseller. We Still Hold These Truths offers a bracing analysis of how and why we have lost our bearings as a nation and lays out the strategy to rescue our future from arbitrary and unlimited government.