The Values Connection

The Values Connection

by James A. Reichley
     
 

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Values are missing from American politics. But should religion and government mix? A. James Reichley makes the provocative case that without a strong moral basis, American democracy is in trouble. The author's deep background in political theory and American Constitutional history allows him to propose practical steps for a constitutionally valid relationship

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Overview

Values are missing from American politics. But should religion and government mix? A. James Reichley makes the provocative case that without a strong moral basis, American democracy is in trouble. The author's deep background in political theory and American Constitutional history allows him to propose practical steps for a constitutionally valid relationship between religion and public life. He surveys the seven major value systems currently competing for America's heart and soul and convincingly demonstrates that only one—what Reichley calls 'transcendent idealism'—is the way to secure America's future. He then goes an extra step by pointing out examples of successful, morally-based public policies addressing critical social problems ranging from drug abuse to single parenthood to school choice. What's God got to do with good government? In The Values Connection, the answer is everything.

Editorial Reviews

The Washington Times
Mr. Reichley, for years an intellectual fixture at the Brookings Institution, was among the first in non-conservative circles to note religion's central role in American politics. Now, in this short but sweeping overview, he describes the religion-society nexus as 'imperative' to good citizenship. . . . Like mini-courses in world history, each chapter covers a values system . . . ranging across Greek Stoics, India's sacred scriptures, 1960s guru Herbert Marcuse, and today's 'communtarian' movement.
Daniel Patrick Moynihan
Jim Reichley's portrayal of competing value systems now seeking to give direction to American public life could hardly be more timely. Drawing on a rich tapestry of history, religion, philosophy, and culture, he persuasively argues that the health of democracy depends ultimately on an essential base of shared moral values, and finds means for moral renewal in America's constitutional tradition.
David Gergen
Since the age of Pericles, political thinkers have been asking what set of values can best sustain a free society, protecting the rights of individuals while also advancing social justice. Bringing a master's eye, A. James Reichley carefully sorts out the answers and how they have worked out in practice over two dozen centuries. This is a bracing, panoramic account from one of America's best observers and deserves attention from the classroom to Capitol Hill. No one should miss his conclusion.
CHOICE
[Reichley's] analysis is wide-ranging, thorough, and engaging, and the work is a pleasant and important contribution.
Jean Bethke Elshtain
Reichley's book is a rich repast for theologians, historians, philosophers, and political theorists. He is at ease with complex argument that crosses many boundaries and disciplines. His voice is clear, humane, and wise and, thus, sorely needed amidst the cacophony of our hurried era.
Stephen V. Monsma
In this book A. James Reichley makes a powerful case that religious faith is essential to the forming and nurturing of the moral values on which a free society ultimately depends. He is at once wise, thorough, and fair. He systematically and comprehensively surveys crucial, competing values systems as they developed and functioned throughout human history. He does so in a cogent manner, and his conclusions are thoroughly supported. This book will have a major impact on the current discussion of moral values and constitutional democracy.
Theological Studies
Reichley has traced a novel path to perceptive and timely conclusions about the role of religion in contemporary public life.
Steve Monsma
In this book A. James Reichley makes a powerful case that religious faith is essential to the forming and nurturing of the moral values on which a free society ultimately depends. He is at once wise, thorough, and fair. He systematically and comprehensively surveys crucial, competing values systems as they developed and functioned throughout human history. He does so in a cogent manner, and his conclusions are thoroughly supported. This book will have a major impact on the current discussion of moral values and constitutional democracy.
Choice
[Reichley's] analysis is wide-ranging, thorough, and engaging, and the work is a pleasant and important contribution.
Washington Times
Mr. Reichley, for years an intellectual fixture at the Brookings Institution, was among the first in non-conservative circles to note religion's central role in American politics. Now, in this short but sweeping overview, he describes the religion-society nexus as 'imperative' to good citizenship. . . . Like mini-courses in world history, each chapter covers a values system . . . ranging across Greek Stoics, India's sacred scriptures, 1960s guru Herbert Marcuse, and today's 'communtarian' movement.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780742509153
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
02/28/2001
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.16(w) x 9.36(h) x 0.88(d)

Meet the Author

A. James Reichley is senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute at Georgetown University.

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