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Nature and History in American Political Development: A Debate: Book by James W. Ceaser

Nature and History in American Political Development: A Debate

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ISBN: 9780674021587    Publisher: Harvard University Press Year of publishing: 2006     Format:  Hardback No of Pages: 206        
In this inaugural volume of the "Alexis De Tocqueville Lectures", political scientist James Ceaser traces the way certain ideas, including nature, history and religion - which he calls foundational ideas...Read more
In this inaugural volume of the "Alexis De Tocqueville Lectures", political scientist James Ceaser traces the way certain ideas, including nature, history and religion - which he calls foundational ideas - have been understood and used by statesmen and public intellectuals over the course of American history, from the Puritans to the current day. Ceaser treats these ideas not as pure concepts of philosophy or theology, but rather as elements of political discourse that provide the ground or ultimate appeal for other political ideas, such as liberty or equality. At times, they have critically influenced the course of American political development, offering various opportunities and constraints for political leaders. Ceaser traces the histories of these ideas and their relation to other ideas, to practices, and to the fortunes of successive partisan regimes. Three critical commentators - historian Jack Rakove and political theorists Nancy Rosenblum and Rogers Smith - challenge Ceaser's arguments in several ways. They suggest that other ideas may be considered foundational, and they prod him to clarify further how foundational ideas work politically.
Ceaser responds with vigour, and the result is a spirited debate about large and enduring questions in American politics.
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About the author: James W. Ceaser
James W. Ceaser is Professor of Politics, University of Virginia. Jack N. Rakove is Professor of American History, Stanford University. Nancy L. Rosenblum... Read more
James W. Ceaser is Professor of Politics, University of Virginia. Jack N. Rakove is Professor of American History, Stanford University. Nancy L. Rosenblum is Professor of Government, Harvard University. Rogers M. Smith is Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania. Alexis de Tocqueville Lectures in American Politics
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Review:
Ceaser's analysis of American history is highly sophisticated and impressive...The discussants, two political scientists and one historian, give the volume balance both politically and...Read more
Ceaser's analysis of American history is highly sophisticated and impressive...The discussants, two political scientists and one historian, give the volume balance both politically and intellectually...[An] engaging, deeply thoughtful, and public-spirited volume.--Daniel Walker Howe"Claremont Review of Books" (09/01/2006)
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