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America and the Political Philosophy of Common Sense Cover

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America and the Political Philosophy of Common Sense

Scott Philip Segrest

From Aristotle to Thomas Jefferson, seminal thinkers have declared “common sense” essential for moral discernment and civilized living. Yet the story of commonsense philosophy is not well known today.
 
            In America and the Political Philosophy of Common Sense, Scott Segrest traces the history and explores the personal and social meaning of common sense as understood especially in American thought and as reflected specifically in the writings of three paradigmatic thinkers: John Witherspoon, James McCosh, and William James. The first two represent Scottish Common Sense and the third, Pragmatism, the schools that together dominated American higher thought for nearly two centuries.
 
Educated Americans of the founding period warmly received Scottish Common Sense, Segrest writes, because it reflected so well what they already thought, and he uncovers the basic elements of American common sense in examining the thought of Witherspoon, who introduced that philosophy to them. With McCosh, he shows the furthest development and limits of the philosophy, and with it of American common sense in its Scottish realist phase. With James, he shows other dimensions of common sense that Americans had long embraced but that had never been examined philosophically.
 
            Clearly, Segrest’s work is much more than an intellectual history. It is a study of the American mind and of common sense itself—its essential character and its human significance, both moral and political. It was common sense, he affirms, that underlay the Declaration of Independence and the founders’ ideas of right and obligation that are still with us today. Segrest suggests that understanding this foundation and James’s refreshing of it could be the key to maintaining America’s vital moral core against a growing alienation from common sense across the Western world.
 
Stressing the urgency of understanding and preserving common sense, Segrest’s work sheds new light on an undervalued aspect of American thought and experience, helping us to perceive the ramifications of commonsense philosophy for dignified living.

America's Mission Cover

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America's Mission

The United States and the Worldwide Struggle for Democracy (Expanded Edition)

Tony Smith

America's Mission argues that the global strength and prestige of democracy today are due in large part to America's impact on international affairs. Tony Smith documents the extraordinary history of how American foreign policy has been used to try to promote democracy worldwide, an effort that enjoyed its greatest triumphs in the occupations of Japan and Germany but suffered huge setbacks in Latin America, Vietnam, and elsewhere. With new chapters and a new introduction and epilogue, this expanded edition also traces U.S. attempts to spread democracy more recently, under presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, and assesses America's role in the Arab Spring.

America's Second Crusade Cover

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America's Second Crusade

William Henry Chamberlin

In this work William Henry Chamberlin offers his perspective as a seasoned journalist on the United States’ involvement in World War II. Written only five years after the unconditional surrenders of Germany and Japan, the book is a window into its time. William Henry Chamberlin (1897–1969) was an American journalist best known for his writings on the Cold War, Communism, and U.S. foreign policy.

America'S Shadow Cover

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America'S Shadow

An Anatomy of Empire

William V. Spanos

A study of imperialism that stretches from ancient Rome to the post–Cold War world, this provocative work boldly revises our assumptions about the genealogy of the West. Rather than locating its source in classical Greece, William V. Spanos argues, we should look to ancient Rome, which first articulated the ideas that would become fundamental to the West’s imperial project. These founding ideas, he claims, have informed the American national identity and its foreign policy from its origins.

The Vietnam War is at the center of this book. In the contradiction between the “free world” logic used to justify U.S. intervention in Vietnam and the genocidal practices used to realize that logic, Spanos finds the culmination of an imperialistic discourse reaching back to the colonizing rationale of the Roman Empire. Spanos identifies the language of expansion in the “white” metaphors used in Western philosophical discourse since the colonization of Greek thought by the Romans. He shows how these metaphors, and their use in metaphysical discourse, have long been complicit in the violence of imperialism.

Unique in the context of postcolonial studies, this book emphasizes what is largely overlooked by commentators on imperialism: its metaphysical source. By interpreting U.S. conduct in the Vietnam War as the fulfillment of the logic springing from ancient Rome, America’s Shadow calls on us to confront our past, our “truths,” and the imperialistic violence latent in our inherited frame of reference. It urges us to discover the positive critical and political possibilities that lie in an examination of the contradictions that haunt the language of Western thought.

American Burke Cover

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American Burke

The Uncommon Liberalism of Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Daniel Patrick Moynihan, one of the late 20th century’s leading public intellectuals, defied easy categorizations throughout his extraordinary life. In this perceptive and carefully argued study, Greg Weiner argues persuasively that Moynihan was an “uncommon liberal”  who embodied liberal and conservative strains and believed in an activist government even as he remained skeptical about government’s capacity to produce change. This fine intellectual biography highlights Moynihan’s extraordinary honesty and range of interests and will remind readers how public life has been diminished since his passing.

American Jewish Identity Politics Cover

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American Jewish Identity Politics

Deborah Dash Moore, editor

Displays the full range of informed, thoughtful opinion on the place of Jews in the American politics of identity. ---David A. Hollinger, Preston Hotchkis Professor of American History, University of California, Berkeley "A fascinating anthology whose essays crystallize the most salient features of American Jewish life in the second half of the twentieth century." ---Beth S. Wenger, Katz Family Associate Professor of American Jewish History and Director of the Jewish Studies Program, University of Pennsylvania Written by scholars who grew up after World War II and the Holocaust who participated in political struggles in the 1960s and 1970s and who articulated many of the formative concepts of modern Jewish studies, this anthology provides a window into an era of social change. These men and women are among the leading scholars of Jewish history, society and culture. The volume is organized around contested themes in American Jewish life: the Holocaust and World War II, religious pluralism and authenticity, intermarriage and Jewish continuity. Thus, it offers one of the few opportunities for students to learn about these debates from participant scholars. Contributors: Hasia R. Diner Arnold M. Eisen Sylvia Barack Fishman Arthur Green Jeffrey Gurock Paula E. Hyman Egon Mayer Alvin H. Rosenfeld Jonathan D. Sarna Stephen J. Whitfield Deborah Dash Moore is Director of the Jean and Samuel Frankel Center for Judaic Studies and Frederick G. L. Huetwell Professor of History at the University of Michigan.

American Prophecy Cover

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American Prophecy

Race and Redemption in American Political Culture

George Shulman

Prophecy is the fundamental idiom of American politics—a biblical rhetoric about redeeming the crimes, suffering, and promise of a special people. Yet American prophecy and its great practitioners—from Frederick Douglass and Henry Thoreau to Martin Luther King, James Baldwin, and Toni Morrison—are rarely addressed, let alone analyzed, by political theorists. This paradox is at the heart of American Prophecy, a work in which George Shulman unpacks and critiques the political meaning of American prophetic rhetoric.

In the face of religious fundamentalisms that associate prophecy and redemption with dogmatism and domination, American Prophecy finds connections between prophetic language and democratic politics, particularly racial politics. Exploring how American critics of white supremacy have repeatedly reworked biblical prophecy, Shulman demonstrates how these writers and thinkers have transformed prophecy into a political language and given redemption a political meaning.

To examine how antiracism is linked to prophecy as a vernacular idiom is to rethink political theology, recast democratic theory, and reassess the bearing of religion on American political culture. Still, prophetic language is not always liberatory, and American Prophecy maintains a critical dispassion about a rhetoric that is both prevalent and problematic.

American Public Opinion on the Iraq War Cover

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American Public Opinion on the Iraq War

Ole R. Holsti

"A substantial contribution to understanding the role of public opinion and the news media during the Iraq War. Equally impressive, it effectively puts the domestic context of U.S. policy in historical perspective, making the book useful to historians as well as to political scientists." ---Ralph B. Levering, Davidson College "American Public Opinion on the Iraq War sets out to chart against a detailed account of the war a nuanced assessment of how public opinion on the conflict evolved, the partisan differences that emerged, how the issue affected other areas of foreign policy opinion, and the limits of public opinion on policy. It succeeds at all of this, and it does so in a manner that is at once informative, inherently interesting, and exceptionally easy to read." ---Randolph M. Siverson, University of California, Davis Ole R. Holsti explores the extent to which changes in public opinion reflected the vigorous public relations efforts of the Bush administration to gain support for the war and the partisanship marking debates over policies toward Iraq. Holsti investigates the ways in which the Iraq experience has led substantial numbers of Americans to reconsider their nation's proper international role, and he assesses the impact that public opinion has had on policymakers. Significantly, Holsti places his findings in a broader context to address the role of public opinion and of the media in democratic governance.

Analyzing the Global Political Economy Cover

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Analyzing the Global Political Economy

Andrew Walter

Ideally suited to upper-undergraduate and graduate students, Analyzing the Global Political Economy critically assesses the convergence between IPE, comparative political economy, and economics. Andrew Walter and Gautam Sen show that a careful engagement with economics is essential for understanding both contemporary IPE and for analyzing the global political economy. The authors also argue that the deployment of more advanced economic theories should not detract from the continuing importance for IPE of key concepts from political science and international relations. IPE students with little or no background in economics will therefore find this book useful, and economics students interested in political economy will be alerted to the comparative strengths of political science and other social science disciplines.

  • A concise look at the foundations of analysis in the political economy of global trade, money, finance, and investment
  • Suitable for upper-undergraduate and graduate students with some or no economic background
  • Techniques and findings from a range of academic disciplines, including international relations, political science, economics, sociology, and history
  • Further reading and useful weblinks including a range of relevant data sources, listed in each chapter

The Anglophone Cameroon Predicament Cover

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The Anglophone Cameroon Predicament

This study explores the predicament of Anglophone Cameroon ñ from the experiment in federation from 1961 to the political liberalisation struggles of the 1990s ñ to challenge claims of a successful post-independence Cameroonian integration process. Focusing on the perceptions and actions of people in the Anglophone region, Atanga argues that what has come to be called the ìAnglophone Problemî constitutes one of the severest threats to the post-colonial nation-state project in Cameroon. As a linguistic and cultural minority, Anglophone Cameroonians realised that the Francophone-led state and government were keener in assimilation than in implementing the federal and bilingual nation agreed upon at reunification in 1960. Calls for national integration became simply a subterfuge for the assimilation of Anglophones by Francophones who dominated the state and government. The book details the various measures undertaken to exploit the Anglophone regionís economy and marginalise its people. Principally the economic structures meant to facilitate self-reliant development were undermined and destroyed. Institutionalised discrimination took the form of the exclusion of Anglophones from positions of real authority, and depriving the region of any meaningful development. With the advent of multi-party politics, most Anglophone Cameroonians increasingly have made vocal demands for a return to a federation, in order to adequately guarantee their rights and recognition for them as a political and cultural minority. Actively encouraged by France, the Francophone-led regime in Cameroon has refused to yield to such demands, despite the grave danger of violent conflict and possible secession.

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