Moderates

The Vital Center of American Politics, from the Founding to Today
Author: David S. Brown
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 1469629240
Category: Political Science
Page: 352
View: 5859

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The fierce polarization of contemporary politics has encouraged Americans to read back into their nation's past a perpetual ideological struggle between liberals and conservatives. However, in this timely book, David S. Brown advances an original interpretation that stresses the critical role of moderate statesmen, ideas, and alliances in making our political system work. Beginning with John Adams and including such key figures as Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Cabot Lodge Jr., and Bill Clinton, Brown charts the vital if uneven progress of centrism through the centuries. Moderate opposition to both New England and southern secessionists during the early republic and later resistance to industrial oligarchy and the modern Sunbelt right are part of this persuasion's far-reaching legacy. Time and again moderates, operating under a broad canopy of coalitions, have come together to reshape the nation's electoral landscape. Today's bitter partisanship encourages us to deny that such a moderate tradition is part of our historical development--one dating back to the Constitutional Convention. Brown offers a less polemical and far more compelling assessment of our politics.

Faces of Moderation

The Art of Balance in an Age of Extremes
Author: Aurelian Craiutu
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812224094
Category: Philosophy
Page: 304
View: 5263

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Examining the writings of twentieth-century thinkers such as Raymond Aron, Isaiah Berlin, Norberto Bobbio, Michael Oakeshott, and Adam Michnik, Faces of Moderation argues that moderation remains crucial for today's encounters with new forms of extremism.

Speaker Jim Wright

Power, Scandal, and the Birth of Modern Politics
Author: J. Brooks Flippen
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 1477315144
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 560
View: 9829

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Jim Wright made his mark on virtually every major public policy issue in the later twentieth century—energy, education, taxes, transportation, environmental protection, civil rights, criminal justice, and foreign relations, among them. He played a significant role in peace initiatives in Central America and in the Camp David Accords, and he was the first American politician to speak live on Soviet television. A Democrat representing Texas’s twelfth district (Fort Worth), Wright served in the US House of Representatives from the Eisenhower administration to the presidency of George H. W. Bush, including twelve years (1977–1989) as majority leader and speaker. His long congressional ascension and sudden fall in a highly partisan ethics scandal spearheaded by Newt Gingrich mirrored the evolution of Congress as an institution. Speaker Jim Wright traces the congressman’s long life and career in a highly readable narrative grounded in extensive interviews with Wright and access to his personal diaries. A skilled connector who bridged the conservative and liberal wings of the Democratic party while forging alliances with Republicans to pass legislation, Wright ultimately fell victim to a new era of political infighting, as well as to his own hubris and mistakes. J. Brooks Flippen shows how Wright’s career shaped the political culture of Congress, from its internal rules and power structure to its growing partisanship, even as those new dynamics eventually contributed to his political demise. To understand Jim Wright in all his complexity is to understand the story of modern American politics.

Richard Hofstadter

An Intellectual Biography
Author: David S. Brown
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226076377
Category: History
Page: 320
View: 9079

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Richard Hofstadter (1916-70) was America’s most distinguished historian of the twentieth century. The author of several groundbreaking books, including The American Political Tradition, he was a vigorous champion of the liberal politics that emerged from the New Deal. During his nearly thirty-year career, Hofstadter fought public campaigns against liberalism’s most dynamic opponents, from McCarthy in the 1950s to Barry Goldwater and the Sun Belt conservatives in the 1960s. His opposition to the extreme politics of postwar America—articulated in his books, essays, and public lectures—marked him as one of the nation’s most important and prolific public intellectuals. In this masterful biography, David Brown explores Hofstadter’s life within the context of the rise and fall of American liberalism. A fierce advocate of academic freedom, racial justice, and political pluralism, Hofstadter charted in his works the changing nature of American society from a provincial Protestant foundation to one based on the values of an urban and multiethnic nation. According to Brown, Hofstadter presciently saw in rural America’s hostility to this cosmopolitanism signs of an anti-intellectualism that he believed was dangerously endemic in a mass democracy. By the end of a life cut short by leukemia, Hofstadter had won two Pulitzer Prizes, and his books had attracted international attention. Yet the Vietnam years, as Brown shows, culminated in a conservative reaction to his work that is still with us. Whether one agrees with Hofstadter’s critics or with the noted historian John Higham, who insisted that Hofstadter was “the finest and also the most humane intelligence of our generation,” the importance of this seminal thinker cannot be denied. As this fascinating biography ultimately shows, Hofstadter’s observations on the struggle between conservative and liberal America are relevant to our own times, and his legacy challenges us to this day.

Radicals for Capitalism

A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement
Author: Brian Doherty
Publisher: PublicAffairs
ISBN: 0786731885
Category: Political Science
Page: 320
View: 360

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On Wall Street, in the culture of high tech, in American government: Libertarianism—the simple but radical idea that the only purpose of government is to protect its citizens and their property against direct violence and threat— has become an extremely influential strain of thought. But while many books talk about libertarian ideas, none until now has explored the history of this uniquely American movement—where and who it came from, how it evolved, and what impact it has had on our country. In this revelatory book, based on original research and interviews with more than 100 key sources, Brian Doherty traces the evolution of the movement through the unconventional life stories of its most influential leaders— Ludwig von Mises, F.A. Hayek, Ayn Rand, Murray Rothbard, and Milton Friedman—and through the personal battles, character flaws, love affairs, and historical events that altered its course. And by doing so, he provides a fascinating new perspective on American history—from the New Deal through the culture wars of the 1960s to today's most divisive political issues. Neither an exposé nor a political polemic, this entertaining historical narrative will enlighten anyone interested in American politics.

Drift

The Unmooring of American Military Power
Author: Rachel Maddow
Publisher: Broadway Books
ISBN: 0307461009
Category: Political Science
Page: 288
View: 6625

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The #1 New York Times bestseller that charts America’s dangerous drift into a state of perpetual war. Written with bracing wit and intelligence, Rachel Maddow's Drift argues that we've drifted away from America's original ideals and become a nation weirdly at peace with perpetual war. To understand how we've arrived at such a dangerous place, Maddow takes us from the Vietnam War to today's war in Afghanistan, along the way exploring Reagan's radical presidency, the disturbing rise of executive authority, the gradual outsourcing of our war-making capabilities to private companies, the plummeting percentage of American families whose children fight our constant wars for us, and even the changing fortunes of G.I. Joe. Ultimately, she shows us just how much we stand to lose by allowing the scope of American military power to overpower our political discourse. Sensible yet provocative, dead serious yet seri­ously funny, Drift will reinvigorate a "loud and jangly" political debate about our vast and confounding national security state.

American Covenant

A History of Civil Religion from the Puritans to the Present
Author: Philip Gorski
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400885000
Category: History
Page: 336
View: 8439

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An authoritative account of the long battle between exclusionary and inclusive versions of the American story Was the United States founded as a Christian nation or a secular democracy? Neither, argues Philip Gorski in American Covenant. What the founders actually envisioned was a prophetic republic that would weave together the ethical vision of the Hebrew prophets and the Western political heritage of civic republicanism. In this ambitious book, Gorski shows why this civil religious tradition is now in peril—and with it the American experiment. Gorski traces the historical development of prophetic republicanism from the Puritan era to the present day. He provides close readings of thinkers such as John Winthrop, Thomas Jefferson, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Hannah Arendt, along with insightful portraits of recent and contemporary religious and political leaders such as Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. Gorski shows how the founders' original vision for America is threatened by an internecine struggle between two rival traditions, religious nationalism and radical secularism. Religious nationalism is a form of militaristic hyperpatriotism that imagines the United States as a divine instrument in the final showdown between good and evil. Radical secularists fervently deny the positive contributions of the Judeo-Christian tradition to the American project and seek to remove all traces of religious expression from the public square. Gorski offers an unsparing critique of both, demonstrating how half a century of culture war has drowned out the quieter voices of the vital center. American Covenant makes the compelling case that if we are to rebuild that vital center, we must recover the civil religious tradition on which the republic was founded.

Vital Remnants

America's Founding and the Western Tradition
Author: Gary L. Gregg
Publisher: Isi Books
ISBN: N.A
Category: History
Page: 347
View: 2144

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The insistence on America's freedom from tradition is itself an American tradition. However, this new volume presents another view, one in which the American ordo is not as new as we suppose. Vital Remnants explores the origins of the American experience in ordered liberty and finds that the taproot of our constitutional order is sunk deep into the history of the West. America's founding generation was learned in the history and literature of the West and steeped in the English tradition of liberty. Vital Remnants revisits for a new generation the sources of America's greatness and suggests means to restore our weakened foundations.

Psychedelic Chile

Youth, Counterculture, and Politics on the Road to Socialism and Dictatorship
Author: Patrick Barr-Melej
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 1469632586
Category: History
Page: 362
View: 6083

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Patrick Barr-Melej here illuminates modern Chilean history with an unprecedented chronicle and reassessment of the sixties and seventies. During a period of tremendous political and social strife that saw the election of a Marxist president followed by the terror of a military coup in 1973, a youth-driven, transnationally connected counterculture smashed onto the scene. Contributing to a surging historiography of the era's Latin American counterculture, Barr-Melej draws on media and firsthand interviews in documenting the intertwining of youth and counterculture with discourses rooted in class and party politics. Focusing on "hippismo" and an esoteric movement called Poder Joven, Barr-Melej challenges a number of prevailing assumptions about culture, politics, and the Left under Salvador Allende's "Chilean Road to Socialism." While countercultural attitudes toward recreational drug use, gender roles and sexuality, rock music, and consumerism influenced many youths on the Left, the preponderance of leftist leaders shared a more conservative cultural sensibility. This exposed, Barr-Melej argues, a degree of intergenerational dissonance within leftist ranks. And while the allure of new and heterodox cultural values and practices among young people grew, an array of constituencies from the Left to the Right berated counterculture in national media, speeches, schools, and other settings. This public discourse of contempt ultimately contributed to the fierce repression of nonconformist youth culture following the coup.

Hamilton versus Jefferson in the Washington Administration

Completing the Founding or Betraying the Founding?
Author: Carson Holloway
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1316462617
Category: Political Science
Page: N.A
View: 8498

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By the middle of 1792, just a little more than three years after America's new government under the Constitution had been set in motion, Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson - President George Washington's two most important cabinet secretaries and two of the most eminent men among the American founders - had become open and bitter political enemies. Their dispute was not personal but political in the highest sense. Each believed that the debate between them was over regime principles. Each believed that he was protecting the newly established republic, and that the other was laboring to destroy it. Carson Holloway's Hamilton versus Jefferson in the Washington Administration examines Hamilton and Jefferson's differences, seeking to explain why these great founders came to disagree so profoundly and vehemently about the political project to which both were committed and had dedicated so much thought and effort.

Wingnuts

How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America
Author: John P. Avlon
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 9780984295111
Category: Political Science
Page: 284
View: 6555

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Discusses the increase of political pundits or individuals with extreme liberal and conservative ideologies, creating a state of hyper-partisanship in American politics that detrimentally affects the poltical process.

The Centrist Manifesto


Author: Charles Wheelan
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393347133
Category: Political Science
Page: 128
View: 8892

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A vision—and detailed road map to power—for a new party that will champion America’s rational center. From debt ceiling standoffs to single-digit Congress approval ratings, America’s political system has never been more polarized—or paralyzed—than it is today. As best-selling author and public policy expert Charles Wheelan writes, now is the time for a pragmatic Centrist party that will identify and embrace the best Democratic and Republican ideals, moving us forward on the most urgent issues for our nation. Wheelan—who not only lectures on public policy but practices it as well (he ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2009)—brings even more than his usual wit and clarity of vision to The Centrist Manifesto. He outlines a realistic ground game that could net at least five Centrist senators from New England, the Midwest, and elsewhere. With the power to deny a red or blue Senate majority, committed Centrists could take the first step toward giving voice and power to America’s largest, and most rational, voting bloc: the center.

When Movements Anchor Parties

Electoral Alignments in American History
Author: Daniel Schlozman
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400873835
Category: Political Science
Page: 288
View: 1756

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Throughout American history, some social movements, such as organized labor and the Christian Right, have forged influential alliances with political parties, while others, such as the antiwar movement, have not. When Movements Anchor Parties provides a bold new interpretation of American electoral history by examining five prominent movements and their relationships with political parties. Taking readers from the Civil War to today, Daniel Schlozman shows how two powerful alliances—those of organized labor and Democrats in the New Deal, and the Christian Right and Republicans since the 1970s—have defined the basic priorities of parties and shaped the available alternatives in national politics. He traces how they diverged sharply from three other major social movements that failed to establish a place inside political parties—the abolitionists following the Civil War, the Populists in the 1890s, and the antiwar movement in the 1960s and 1970s. Moving beyond a view of political parties simply as collections of groups vying for preeminence, Schlozman explores how would-be influencers gain influence—or do not. He reveals how movements join with parties only when the alliance is beneficial to parties, and how alliance exacts a high price from movements. Their sweeping visions give way to compromise and partial victories. Yet as Schlozman demonstrates, it is well worth paying the price as movements reorient parties' priorities. Timely and compelling, When Movements Anchor Parties demonstrates how alliances have transformed American political parties.

Beyond the Frontier

The Midwestern Voice in American Historical Writing
Author: David S. Brown
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226076512
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 227
View: 6862

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As the world went to war in 1941, Time magazine founder Henry Luce coined a term for what was rapidly becoming the establishment view of America’s role in the world: the twentieth century, he argued, was the American Century. Many of the nation’s most eminent historians—nearly all of them from the East Coast—agreed with this vision and its endorsement of the vigorous use of power and persuasion to direct world affairs. But an important concentration of midwestern historians actively dissented. With Beyond the Frontier, David S. Brown tells their little-known story of opposition. Raised in a cultural landscape that combined agrarian provincialism with reform-minded progressivism, these historians—among them Charles Beard, William Appleman Williams, and Christopher Lasch—argued strenuously against the imperial presidencies, interventionist foreign policies, and Keynesian capitalism that swiftly shaped cold war America. Casting a skeptical eye on the burgeoning military-industrial complex and its domestic counterpart, the welfare state, they warned that both components of the liberal internationalist vision jeopardized the individualistic, republican ethos that had long lain at the heart of American democracy. Drawing on interviews, personal papers, and correspondence of the imoprtant players in the debate, Brown has written a fascinating follow-up to his critically acclaimed biography of Richard Hofstadter. Illuminating key ideas that link midwestern writers from Frederick Jackson Turner all the way to William Cronon and Thomas Frank, Beyond the Frontier is intellectual history at its best: grounded in real lives and focused on issues that remain salient—and unresolved—even today.

The Paranoid Style in American Politics


Author: Richard Hofstadter
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307809684
Category: Political Science
Page: 368
View: 7009

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This timely reissue of Richard Hofstadter's classic work on the fringe groups that influence American electoral politics offers an invaluable perspective on contemporary domestic affairs.In The Paranoid Style in American Politics, acclaimed historian Richard Hofstadter examines the competing forces in American political discourse and how fringe groups can influence — and derail — the larger agendas of a political party. He investigates the politics of the irrational, shedding light on how the behavior of individuals can seem out of proportion with actual political issues, and how such behavior impacts larger groups. With such other classic essays as “Free Silver and the Mind of 'Coin' Harvey” and “What Happened to the Antitrust Movement?, ” The Paranoid Style in American Politics remains both a seminal text of political history and a vital analysis of the ways in which political groups function in the United States. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Brown Is the New White

How the Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority
Author: Steve Phillips
Publisher: The New Press
ISBN: 1620973251
Category: Political Science
Page: 304
View: 4294

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The New York Times and Washington Post bestseller that sparked a national conversation about America’s new progressive, multiracial majority, updated to include data from the 2016 election With a new preface and afterword by the author When it first appeared in the lead-up to the 2016 election, Brown Is the New White helped spark a national discussion of race and electoral politics and the often-misdirected spending priorities of the Democratic party. This “slim yet jam-packed call to action” (Booklist) contained a “detailed, data-driven illustration of the rapidly increasing number of racial minorities in America” (NBC News) and their significance in shaping our political future. Completely revised and updated to address the aftermath of the 2016 election, this first paperback edition of Brown Is the New White doubles down on its original insights. Attacking the “myth of the white swing voter” head-on, Steve Phillips, named one of “America’s Top 50 Influencers” by Campaigns & Elections, closely examines 2016 election results against a long backdrop of shifts in the electoral map over the past generation—arguing that, now more than ever, hope for a more progressive political future lies not with increased advertising to middle-of-the-road white voters, but with cultivating America’s growing, diverse majority. Emerging as a respected and clear-headed commentator on American politics at a time of pessimism and confusion among Democrats, Phillips offers a stirring answer to anyone who thinks the immediate future holds nothing but Trump and Republican majorities.

Independent Nation

How the Vital Center Is Changing American Politics
Author: John Avlon
Publisher: Crown
ISBN: 140008072X
Category: Political Science
Page: 368
View: 7320

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Fifty percent of American voters define themselves as political moderates, two-thirds favor political solutions that come from the center of the political spectrum, and Independents outnumber both Democrats and Republicans. Bill Clinton and George W. Bush each explicitly used Centrist strategies to win the White House—and twenty-first-century candidates will be compelled to do the same. Independent Nation documents the rich history of the defining political movement of our time. Organized as a series of short and colorful political biographies, it offers an insightful and engaging analysis of the successes and failures of key Centrist leaders throughout the twentieth century. In the process, it demonstrates that Centrism is not only a winning political strategy but an enlightened governing philosophy that best reflects the will of the people by putting patriotism ahead of partisanship and the national interest ahead of special interests. From the Hardcover edition.

American Gospel

God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation
Author: Jon Meacham
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781588365774
Category: History
Page: 448
View: 9186

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham reveals how the Founding Fathers viewed faith—and how they ultimately created a nation in which belief in God is a matter of choice. At a time when our country seems divided by extremism, American Gospel draws on the past to offer a new perspective. Meacham re-creates the fascinating history of a nation grappling with religion and politics–from John Winthrop’s “city on a hill” sermon to Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence; from the Revolution to the Civil War; from a proposed nineteenth-century Christian Amendment to the Constitution to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s call for civil rights; from George Washington to Ronald Reagan. Debates about religion and politics are often more divisive than illuminating. Secularists point to a “wall of separation between church and state,” while many conservatives act as though the Founding Fathers were apostles in knee britches. As Meacham shows in this brisk narrative, neither extreme has it right. At the heart of the American experiment lies the God of what Benjamin Franklin called “public religion,” a God who invests all human beings with inalienable rights while protecting private religion from government interference. It is a great American balancing act, and it has served us well. Meacham has written and spoken extensively about religion and politics, and he brings historical authority and a sense of hope to the issue. American Gospel makes it compellingly clear that the nation’s best chance of summoning what Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature” lies in recovering the spirit and sense of the Founding. In looking back, we may find the light to lead us forward. Praise for American Gospel “In his American Gospel, Jon Meacham provides a refreshingly clear, balanced, and wise historical portrait of religion and American politics at exactly the moment when such fairness and understanding are much needed. Anyone who doubts the relevance of history to our own time has only to read this exceptional book.”—David McCullough, author of 1776 “Jon Meacham has given us an insightful and eloquent account of the spiritual foundation of the early days of the American republic. It is especially instructive reading at a time when the nation is at once engaged in and deeply divided on the question of religion and its place in public life.”—Tom Brokaw, author of The Greatest Generation

Democracy and Technology


Author: Richard Sclove
Publisher: Guilford Press
ISBN: 9780898628616
Category: Technology & Engineering
Page: 338
View: 1654

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Intended for anyone interested in democracy and public policy, social justice and empowerment, political economy and business or the social consequences of technology and architecture.