Building a Community of Citizens: Civil Society in the 21st Century / Edition 1

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Overview

This book explores the condition of American civil society, evaluates the forces—political, social, demographic, and global—that are operating upon it, and provides critical thinking on how to strengthen it in the decades ahead. Drawing from some of the country's leading thinkers, it looks candidly at the stress fractures on American society— issues such as the underclass, gender, family, and religion, and concludes with five philosophical perspectives: libertarian, populist, communitarian, traditionalist, and the political and cultural center.

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Editorial Reviews

The Philadelphia Inquirer
The writers in this book put up beacons to provide guidance. They come from both liberal and conservative traditions, but it is remarkable how little difference political ideology makes. What illuminates their thought is a common recognition that the loss of civic virtue is corroding our society from the inside, and a shared belief that (if we act fast) the center can still hold.
— Kelly Green, SOJOURNERS
First Things
Nearly every book on public policy published nowadays demands that we strengthen our communities. But what we need instead is some practical advice on exactly how we are supposed to do it, and 'Building a Community of Citizens' undertakes to give us that advice....the book is consistent in outlook....The essays are very helpful...
— Elshtain, Jean Bethke
Southeastern Political Review
Uniformly clear, the concise essays build toward easily digestible conclusions.
— Peter Augustine Lawler, Family Policy
Kelly Green
The writers in this book put up beacons to provide guidance. They come from both liberal and conservative traditions, but it is remarkable how little difference political ideology makes. What illuminates their thought is a common recognition that the loss of civic virtue is corroding our society from the inside, and a shared belief that (if we act fast) the center can still hold.
The Philadelphia Inquirer - Jean Bethke Elshtain
[The book's] 23 essays are all well-written, and all reflect the soul-searching of men and women deeply committed to the restoration of a decent society as they envision it.
Southeastern Political Review - Peter Augustine Lawler
Uniformly clear, the concise essays build toward easily digestible conclusions.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819196149
  • Publisher: University Press of America
  • Publication date: 1/28/1994
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 550
  • Product dimensions: 5.94 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Quest for a Civil Society
Ch. 1 Citizenship in the 21st Century: Individual Self-Government 3
Ch. 2 Building Blocks of Our American Culture 11
Ch. 3 American Civilization and the Idea of Progress 29
Ch. 4 Generational Perspectives on Society: The Millennial Generation 39
Ch. 5 Global Trends Reshaping Civil Society 57
Ch. 6 Tocqueville's Democratic Prescription: "Self-Interest: Rightly Understood" 83
Ch. 7 Educating for a Humane Society: The Reclamation of Civic Virtue 95
Ch. 8 The Role of Heroes and Heroines in the American Story 107
Ch. 9 Building Community Through Education 119
Ch. 10 Can Schools and Colleges Help Restore Citizenship? 133
Ch. 11 Beyond Governmentalism: The Diminishing Possibilities of Public Policy 151
Ch. 12 Political Parties and the Replacement of Civic Responsibilities 163
Ch. 13 Citizenship: Transcending Left and Right 175
Ch. 14 Federalism, Citizenship, and Community 191
Ch. 15 Man, Woman and Family: Difference and Dependency in the American Conversation 211
Ch. 16 The Role of Normative Values in Rescuing the Urban Ghetto 241
Ch. 17 Building the Well Ordered Society: Subsidiarity and Mediating Structures 251
Ch. 18 Religion in the Civil Public Square 271
Ch. 19 Traditionalist: Strengthening the Bonds of Civil Society 293
Ch. 20 Communitarian: A New Balance between Rights and Responsibilities 305
Ch. 21 Libertarian: Building Civil Society Through Virtue and Freedom 319
Ch. 22 Populist: Citizenship as Public Work and Public Freedom 333
Ch. 23 The Expanding Role of the Center: Affirming American Ideals 355
About the Contributors 371
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