Fugitive Theory

Fugitive Theory : Political Theory, the Southern Agrarians, and America

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The group known as the Southern Agrarians came out of Vanderbilt University in the wake of the 1925 Scopes Trial in Dayton, Tennessee. In response to attacks on the South and Southern culture, these scholars and poets-including Allen Tate, Donald Davidson, John Crowe Ransom, Robert Penn Warren, Andrew Lytle, Frank Owsley, and others-turned their attention to the defense of the South and its political tradition in numerous essays and books. Christopher Duncan's Fugitive Theory situates the Agrarians' political thought within the larger context of the Western political tradition in general and in the context of American political thought in particular. Duncan argues that the political theory of the Southern Agrarians is best understood in terms of a civic republicanism that has its roots in the thought of theorists such as Aristotle, Machiavelli, James Harrington, and Thomas Jefferson.
In exploring this fascinating chapter of twentieth-century American history Duncan recovers a vision that included a commitment to private property in land, autonomy, and decentralized power-a vision that pitted itself against the call for centralization and materialism implicit in the ascendant industrial order.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 264 pages
  • 150.4 x 245.4 x 19.6mm | 444.53g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 0739100882
  • 9780739100882

Review quote

The strength of this work is the author's thoughtful effort, successful in my view, to examine the Southern Agrarians as part of the civic republican tradition of western political philosophy. Perspectives Duncan has succeeded in writing an interesting, provocative book, and in doing so provides a useful study of Southern Agrarians and their theory. Journal of Politics Brims with judicious insight, keen intelligence, and the passionate enthusiasms of a scholar who cares deeply about his subject and its value. Review of Politics
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About Christopher M. Duncan

Christopher M. Duncan is Associate Professor of Political Science at Mississippi State University.
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