Facing the Other
Ethical Disruption and the American Mind
Publication Year: 2004
Published by: Louisiana State University Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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INTRODUCTION: Towards Confronting the “Hatred by the Other Human”
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A year before his death, Thomas Jefferson reflected upon the meaningof the Declaration of Independence he had drafted a half-century earlier. The real purpose or “object” of the Declaration, Jefferson stated, was “not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of, not merely to say things which had never been said before...
1 FACING ALTERITY: The Ethics of Conversion in Crèvecoeur’s Letters from an American Farmer
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In September 1759, Michel-Guillaume-Jean de Cre`vecoeur, having resigned his commission as a second lieutenant in the French Canadian militia, arrived in New York City. Although born in France, Cre`vecoeur had been a resident of England before his initial emigration to Canada...
2 IN THE NAME OF “JUSTICE AND HUMANITY”: Thomas Paine’s Ethical Envisionings of the American Republic
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On January 10, 1776, when Thomas Paine’s Common Sense first appeared in print, its intent was revolutionary, its effects dramatic and disruptive. Almost immediately, Paine’s insurgent pamphlet achieved unprecedented sales, surpassing“those of any of the other 400 pamphlets of the pre-Revolutionary debate...
3 STANDING IN THE “FIELD OF FREEDOM”: Thomas Jefferson and the Reverberations of that Declaratory Promise
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The Declaration of Independence has always been America’s most problematic document. Articulatingthe nation’s founding claims of freedom and independence, the Declaration guarantees the “inalienable rights” of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” affirms “in the course of human events” the necessity “for one people to dissolve the political bands...
4 FUGITIVE POSEURS: The Native Eloquence of Frederick Douglass and Sarah Winnemucca
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In the openingparag raphs of Frederick Douglass’s sole novella, “The Heroic Slave,” Douglass focuses our gaze upon the impressive figure of Madison Washington, standing concealed in the midst of a “dark pine forest.” In the presence of God and under the protective grace of Nature, Washington utters a series...
5 IN THE PRESENCE OF THE GREAT AMERICAN CRIMINAL: John Brown’s Triumphant Failure at Harpers Ferry
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“I never thought that I should ever join in doing honor to or mourningany American white man,” Charles H. Langston declared to a Cleveland audience in December 1859 when the state of Virginia brought to the gallows its most notorious criminal. There is little doubt that Langston spoke for many others of African descent...
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Page Count: 224
Publication Year: 2004