America's Promise: Civil Society and the Renewal of American Culture

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 41%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 90%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (21) from $1.99   
  • New (7) from $12.85   
  • Used (14) from $1.99   


In this book, Don E. Eberly describes the role of civil society in the preservation of democratic values and institutions, and explains why the preservation of civil society must be a major priority over the next several decades. Our society, argues Eberly, cannot thrive and perhaps cannot survive, without strong social institutions, a vibrant moral order, and an active, intellectual, and grass roots dimension, and analyzes the concept of civil society in the context of both political theory and sociology. He then outlines ways in which the civil society debate reveals and responds to the more fundamental concern of moral collapse evident in America today.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

David Popenoe
If you want to know what civil society means, and why the concept is so important, by all means read this book. Wise, lucid and extremely informative, it is an indispensable guide to the civil society debate.
John DiIulio
No one who cares about the future of America's civil institutions, no one who has a head and a heart for the plight of our most truly needy fellow citizens and young people, can afford to miss Don Eberly's masterful new book, America's Promise.
Amitai Etzioni
This is the most comprehensive book on the civic society to date. Nobody is clearer on this important issue than Eberly and few are his peers.
Francis Fukuyama
America's Promise lays out better than any book I have seen the essence of the contemporary problem of American community, beginning with the family and ending with the welfare state, and proposes some sensible and fair initiatives to reduce our social isolation .
Jean Bethke Elshtain
Eberly demonstrates decisively that what is at stake in the outcome of the civil society debate is not only our collective self-understanding but, indeed, our well-being as citizens.
David Blankenhorn
America's Promise is jam-packed with generosity and wisdom—a valuable piece of work on what civil society is, why it matters and what we can do to renew our culture.
Glenn C. Loury
For a decade now, Don Eberly has been one of the leading figures in the effort to renew American culture. He is a thinker as well as a doer; a Christian who understand the need to engage the secular world. He is always worth a reading, and never more so than in America's Promise.
William A. Galston
While some may take issue with Eberly's conclusions and recommendations, America's Promise offers a comprehensive and up-to-date account of the contemporary civil society movement. Moving surefootedly through empirical research, history, philosophy, and religion, this book will be a valuable resource for leaders who want to understand the renewed interest in civil society among Americans across the political spectrum.
Peggie Wehmeyer
America's Promise offers a frightening, but on target diagnosis of the nation's moral meltdown. More importantly, Don Eberly outlines a way out that may be out best hope for the future.
Mitch B. Pearlstein
The most frustrating aspect of much of what is written about something called 'civil society' is that once its quite obvious virtues are asserted, little more of specific consequence tends to get said. Don Eberly fixes this problem be endowing the national conversation with abundant philosophical, spiritual and ground-level grist.
The Printed Page, May-June 99 - Peter Agustine Lawler
American Promise represents perhaps the best single introduction to the subject.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780847692293
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/28/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.92 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Don E. Eberly is the director of the Civil Society Project, a national initiative advancing ideas to strengthen America's social institutions and community life. He is the editor of many books, including The Content of America's Character: The Recovery of Civic Virtue. Eberly is an affiliate scholar at the Institute for American Values, and founder of the National Fatherhood Initiative. He lives in Lancaster, PA.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Civil Society: A New Solution Chapter 2 The Movement Chapter 3 Social Institutions; Social Regression Chapter 4 Civil Society and the Welfare State; Community Building and Civic Engagement Chapter 5 Renewing the Public Realm: Public Space and Democratic Deliberation Chapter 6 Cultural Cleanup: Manners and Remoralization Chapter 7 Recovering Individual Character and Ethics Chapter 8 Toward a New Public Philosophy: Common Ground and the Common Good Chapter 9 Civitas Limited: The Limitations of Civil Society Chapter 10 The Fragility of Civil Society Chapter 11 Civil Society Plus: America's Civic and Transcendent Creeds Chapter 12 Toward Moral Realism and Republican Character Chapter 13 A Call to Civil Society: Why Democracy Needs Moral Truths

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)