Democracy's Discontent

America in Search of a Public Philosophy

By Michael J. Sandel
(Belknap Press, Hardcover, 9780674197442, 432pp.)

Publication Date: April 1996

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback

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Description
The defect, Sandel maintains, lies in the impoverished vision of citizenship and community shared by Democrats and Republicans alike. American politics has lost its civic voice, leaving both liberals and conservatives unable to inspire the sense of community and civic engagement that self-government requires.

In search of a public philosophy adequate to our time, Sandel ranges across the American political experience, recalling the arguments of Jefferson and Hamilton, Lincoln and Douglas, Holmes and Brandeis, FDR and Reagan. He relates epic debates over slavery and industrial capitalism to contemporary controversies over the welfare state, religion, abortion, gay rights, and hate speech. "Democracy's Discontent" provides a new interpretation of the American political and constitutional tradition that offers hope of rejuvenating our civic life.

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