Democracy and Its Friendly Critics
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Democracy and Its Friendly Critics : Tocqueville and Political Life Today

Edited by Peter Augustine Lawler , Contributions by Patrick J. Deneen , Contributions by Marc D. Guerra , Contributions by Ralph C. Hancock , Contributions by Matthew S. Holland , Contributions by Joseph M. Knippenberg , Contributions by Peter A. Lawler , Contributions by Daniel J. Mahoney , Contributions by Harvey C. Mansfield , Contributions by Wilson Carey McWilliams

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Democracy and Its Friendly Critics addresses a variety of modern political and social concerns, such as the moral dimension of democracy, the theoretical challenges to democracy in our time, the religious dimension of liberty, and the meaning of work in contemporary American life. Taking innovative and unexpected approaches toward familiar topics, the essays present engaging insights into a democratic society, and the contributors include some of today's leading figures in political philosophy.

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  • Paperback | 204 pages
  • 152.4 x 226.1 x 17.8mm | 317.52g
  • 01 Aug 2004
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0739107623
  • 9780739107621

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Author Information

Peter Augustine Lawler is Dana Professor of Government at Berry College.

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Review quote

There are many ways to read Tocqueville, but the authors of the essays collected in this extraordinary volume read him in the best way - as a partner in conversation about some of the most important issues confronting us today: democracy, America, and the fate of democracy in America. -- Damon Linker, Editor, FIRST THINGS These "friendly critics of democracy" go beyond the classic to illuminate American culture and politics. Indeed, these superlative essayists are forced to become friendly critics of Tocqueville in order to complete their work, which culminates, in the most ambitious essays, in the articulation of the relationship between reason and revelation. Thus, the book is an invaluable reminder of the need to understand America as containing within herself the highest themes of political philosophy and hence as possibly the best regime. -- Ken Masugi, The Claremont Institute and editor Thirteen essays, presented by Lawler, frequently use the observations of de Tocqueville as a jumping off point for their reflections on such topics as religion and materialism, the moral foundations of democracy, citizenship as vocation, and other matters. Reference and Research Book News Here in America, the land of sunny tolerance, it sometimes seems that the criticism of modern egalitarian democracy is the only truly unpardonable offense left ? a sin that is doubly heinous, since it combines the theological vice of heresy with the political vice of treason. But America deserves better than that, and the good health of democracy requires it. This stimulating and valuable collection gives fresh force to Tocqueville's great and enduring insight, that the liberal-democratic ethos can beat its best only when it is held in tension with the friendly criticism of other principles... -- Wilfred M. McClay, University of Oklahoma Here in America, the land of sunny tolerance, it sometimes seems that the criticism of modern egalitarian democracy is the only truly unpardonable offense left - a sin that is doubly heinous, since it combines the theological vice of heresy with the political vice of treason. But America deserves better than that, and the good health of democracy requires it. This stimulating and valuable collection gives fresh force to Tocqueville's great and enduring insight, that the liberal-democratic ethos can be at its best only when it is held in tension with the "friendly criticism" of other principles. -- Wilfred M. McClay, University of Oklahoma

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