BN.com Gift Guide

The Nature of Rights at the American Founding and Beyond

Overview

Americans have been claiming and defending rights since long before the nation achieved independence. But few Americans recognize how profoundly the nature of rights has changed over the past three hundred years. In The Nature of Rights at the American Founding and Beyond, Barry Alan Shain gathers together essays by some of the leading scholars in American constitutional law and history to examine the nature of rights claims in eighteenth-century America and how they differed, if at all, from today’s ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (7) from $39.23   
  • New (4) from $39.23   
  • Used (3) from $54.26   
Sending request ...

Overview

Americans have been claiming and defending rights since long before the nation achieved independence. But few Americans recognize how profoundly the nature of rights has changed over the past three hundred years. In The Nature of Rights at the American Founding and Beyond, Barry Alan Shain gathers together essays by some of the leading scholars in American constitutional law and history to examine the nature of rights claims in eighteenth-century America and how they differed, if at all, from today’s understandings. Was America at its founding predominantly individualistic or, in some important way, communal? Similarly, which understanding of rights was of greater centrality: the historical "rights of Englishmen" or abstract natural rights? And who enjoyed these rights, however understood? Everyone? Or only economically privileged and militarily responsible male heads of households?

The contributors also consider how such concepts of rights have continued to shape and reshape the American experience of political liberty to this day. Beginning with the arresting transformation in the grounding of rights prompted by the American War of Independence, the volume moves through what the contributors describe as the "Founders’ Bill of Rights" to the "second" Bill of Rights that coincided with the Civil War, and ends with the language of rights erupting from the horrors of the Second World War and its aftermath in the Cold War. By asking what kind of nation the founding generation left us, or intended to leave us, the contributors are then able to compare that nation to the nation we have become. Most, if not all, of the essays demonstrate that the nature of rights in America has been anything but constant, and that the rights defended in the late eighteenth century stand at some distance from those celebrated today.

Contributors:Akhil Reed Amar, Yale University
• James H. Hutson, Library of Congress
• Stephen Macedo, Princeton University
• Richard Primus, University of Michigan
• Jack N. Rakove, Stanford University
• John Phillip Reid, New York University
• Daniel T. Rodgers, Princeton University
• A. Gregg Roeber, Pennsylvania State University
• Barry Alan Shain, Colgate University
• Rogers M. Smith, University of Pennsylvania
• Leif Wenar, University of Sheffield
• Gordon S. Wood, Brown University

University of Virginia Press

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Mark A. GraberUniversity of Maryland

"Professor Shain has assembled the leading thinkers on the American Founding. Their essays summarize the best works over the past few years on rights when the Constitution was ratified, and effectively demolish notions that rights today are what rights have always been.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813934464
  • Publisher: University of Virginia
  • Publication date: 1/14/2013
  • Series: Constitutionalism and Democracy Series
  • Pages: 354
  • Sales rank: 1,246,333
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

Barry Alan Shain, Associate Professor of Political Science at Colgate University, is the author of The Myth of American Individualism: The Protestant Origins of American Political Thought and Man, God, and Society: An Interpretive History of Individualism.

University of Virginia Press

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction   Barry Alan Shain   Rogers M. Smith     1
Situating Rights
An Introduction to the Nature of American Rights   Richard Primus     15
The Emergence of the Modern Concept of a Right in America: The Contribution of Michel Villey   James H. Hutson     25
The Nature of Rights at the American Founding
The Authority of Rights at the American Founding   John Phillip Reid     67
Rights Natural and Civil in the Declaration of Independence   Barry Alan Shain     116
The Creation, Reconstruction, and Interpretation of the Bill of Rights   Akhil Reed Amar     163
The Dilemma of Declaring Rights   Jack N. Rakove     181
The Limited Horizons of Whig Religious Rights   A. Gregg Roeber     198
Looking Backward and Forward: A Nation of Rights
The History of Rights in Early America   Gordon S. Wood     233
Rights Consciousness in American   Daniel T. Rodgers     258
The Diversity of Rights in Contemporary Ethical and Political Thought   Leif Wenar   Stephen Macedo     280
The Politics of Rights Talk, Then and Now   Rogers M. Smith     303
List of Contributors     325
Index     327
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

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

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com 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 & Noble.com 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 & Noble.com 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 BN.com 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

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com 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 BN.com. 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)