The Dance with Community: The Contemporary Debate in American Political Thought

Overview

Contemporary intellectuals have rushed to embrace the concept of "community." What does this tell us about American political thought? Why are intellectuals uneasy with modern liberal individualism and its institutional policy results?

In The Dance with Community intellectual historian Robert Booth Fowler reflects upon these and related questions. "My goal," he writes, "is to present contemporary political thought about community for what it ...

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Overview

Contemporary intellectuals have rushed to embrace the concept of "community." What does this tell us about American political thought? Why are intellectuals uneasy with modern liberal individualism and its institutional policy results?

In The Dance with Community intellectual historian Robert Booth Fowler reflects upon these and related questions. "My goal," he writes, "is to present contemporary political thought about community for what it is--a conversation interactive, spirited, and sometimes tough."

There have been many interpretations of the much-discussed decline in community spirit. Rather than offer another, Fowler steps back to look at the debate itself. He examines the attention to community in current American political thought and explores the setting of that attention.

He also identifies five alternative models of community integral to current debates and sketches a clear image of each--its relationship to others, the logic of its appeal, and its emphases and problems. In each instance he places the model into the larger conversation over alternative communities and the value of community itself.

This book is part of the American Political Thought series.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Not an essay in normative political philosophy, but a discussion of the present-day developments in American political thought as they focus on community. Fowler (political science, U. of Wisconsin) tells the story of the coming of age of community in the thought of American political intellectuals and provides measured analysis and reflection on some of the directions in which thinking about community has proceeded. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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