Gambling: Mapping the American Moral Landscape

Gambling: Mapping the American Moral Landscape

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Why has gambling become so accepted in the U.S. when other historical vices, like smoking and drinking, continue to evoke morality-based opposition? That simple but intriguing question guides this path-breaking volume, the first interdisciplinary academic study of gambling. Led by the renowned Alan Wolfe and with essays by experts at the country's premiere centers in public policy, clinical addiction, law, gaming, psychology, sociology, moral philosophy, theology, and the arts, Gambling: Mapping the American Moral Landscape is a tour de force of the booming cultural and moral phenomenon that has become woven into the fabric of American life. Both an attempt to understand and an effort to predict its future consequences, the book will prove evocative and critical reading for American civic and church leaders, activists, historians and government officials.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781602581951
Publisher: Baylor University Press
Publication date: 08/01/2009
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 516
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Alan Wolfe is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life, Boston College. A prolific and esteemed writer and speaker, Wolfe's books include The Future of Liberalism; Does American Democracy Still Work?; and Return to Greatness: How America Lost Its Sense of Purpose and What it Needs to Do to Recover It. He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Erik C. Owens is Assistant Director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Theology, Boston College. He lives in West Roxbury, Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

The Politics and Policy of Gambling

1. The Importance of a Good Cause: Ends and Means in State Lotteries

2. The Politics of Sovereignty and Public Policy Toward Gambling

3. Negotiating a Different Terrain: Morality Policymaking and Indian Gaming

4. New Policies, Same Old Vice: Gambling in the 21st Century

Individual Behavior and Social Impact

5. Behavioral and Brain Measures of Risk-Taking

6. Gambling with the Family?

7. Gambling and Morality: A Neuropsychiatric Perspective

8. The Unproblematic Normalization of Gambling in America

Theology, Gambling and Risk

9. The Memory of Sin: Gambling in Jewish Law and Ethics

10. Grace and Gambling

11. The Criminal Law of Gambling: A Puzzling History

12. Playing and Praying: What's Luck Got to Do with It?

Gambling in American Culture

13. Beyond Pathology: The Cultural Meanings of Gambling

14. Civic Values and Education Lotteries: The Irony of Funding Public Education with Lottery Revenues

15. A Tale of Two "Sins": Regulation of Gambling and Tobacco

16. The Culture War Issue that Never Was: Why the Right and Left Have Overlooked Gambling

What People are Saying About This

David P. Gushee

A dramatic advance in scholarly consideration of this neglected phenomenon in American life. It brings together a brilliant interdisciplinary team.

Melissa Rogers

Groundbreaking. Wolfe and Owens explain why gambling has been ignored in our national values debate—and consequences of the omission.

Keith S. Whyte

An invaluable guide for understanding the roots of gambling in the American psyche and its implications for the future.

David G. Schwartz

A vivid demonstration of how profoundly gambling intersects with politics, economics, culture, and even theology. I highly recommend it.

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