Nature and History in American Political Development

Nature and History in American Political Development

by James W CEASER
     
 

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In this inaugural volume of the Alexis de Tocqueville Lectures, James Ceaser traces the way certain "foundational" ideas—including nature, history, and religion—have been understood and used over the course of American history. Ceaser treats these ideas as elements of political discourse that provide the ground for other political ideas, such as liberty or

Overview

In this inaugural volume of the Alexis de Tocqueville Lectures, James Ceaser traces the way certain "foundational" ideas—including nature, history, and religion—have been understood and used over the course of American history. Ceaser treats these ideas as elements of political discourse that provide the ground for other political ideas, such as liberty or equality. Three critical commentators challenge Ceaser's arguments, and a spirited debate about large and enduring questions in American politics ensues.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674029309
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
06/30/2009
Series:
Alexis de Tocqueville lectures on American politics
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
240
File size:
315 KB

What People are saying about this

James A Morone
This first Alexis de Tocqueville Lecture fully lives up to its name. These are wise, elegant, witty, subversive reflections on the role of ideas in political life. Nature and History is a rich meditation on America, a feisty debate about history, and a complete delight to read. --(James A Morone, Brown University)
Jeffrey K. Tulis
James Ceaser has uncovered a profoundly vital aspect of American politics known by political leaders for centuries but ignored by the discipline of political science. His lecture on foundational concepts stimulated a vigorous debate on the ways students of politics should understand the role of ideas. The responses by Jack Rakove, Nancy Rosenblum, and Rogers Smith pose tough questions and Ceaser responds to their challenges in a wonderful exchange. Nature and History in American Political Development opens up an arena in the study of American politics that is new and especially important. --(Jeffrey K. Tulis, University of Texas at Austin)
Michael Zuckert
This book offers a double-header of a treat: James Ceaser provides the outlines of a new and altogether intriguing approach to the field of American political thought, and three of the field's most eminent scholars write appreciative but hard-hitting critiques. Ceaser has a reply, and the entire debate echoes in the mind long after the reader has put the book down. --(Michael Zuckert, University of Notre Dame)

Meet the Author

Theda Skocpol is Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard University. Her previous works include the prize-winning States and Social Revolutions.

Jack N. Rakove is the William R. Coe Professor of History and American Studies and Professor of Political Science at Stanford University and author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution.

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