Honor in America?

Honor in America? : Tocqueville on American Enlightenment

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Is there such a thing as American honor, or is honor simply incompatible with modern liberal democracy and capitalism? Tocqueville's Democracy in America is particularly well suited as a means of exploring these questions. Through an in-depth analysis of Tocqueville's views on aristocratic versus American democratic honor, this book explores what honor might mean in the modern Western context. Its aim is to strengthen citizens' moral obligations and understandings of community in the face of forces within democracy and capitalism that naturally erode these binding and stabilizing influences. With a focus on discovering a uniquely American honor, this book covers Tocqueville's views on American religion, family and gender roles, politics, relations with Native Americans, white southerners and slavery, and the military. It explores how these views can help us form a uniquely American honor code, one that re-envisions and incorporates suitable aristocratic elements within a modern democratic society and a capitalistic economy.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 188 pages
  • 158 x 238 x 18mm | 422g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739190474
  • 9780739190470

Review quote

In a fine and unusually comprehensive analysis of honor in Tocqueville, Laurie Johnson shows how Tocqueville understood the sense of honor to shape American life in domains ranging from politics, business, and the military to family, religion, and race relations. The book makes an effective case for the continuing value of honor in liberal democratic societies today, and helps us envision a uniquely American code of honor attuned to the demands of our contemporary times. -- Sharon Krause, Brown Universityshow more

About Laurie M. Johnson

Laurie M. Johnson is professor of political science at Kansas State University.show more

Table of contents

Chapter 1 American Enlightenment Religion Chapter 2 Tocqueville on Honor Chapter 3 Democratic Honor: The American Family Chapter 4 Aristocratic v. Democratic Honor: The Military Chapter 5 American Shame: Enlarging Democratic Honorshow more