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Alexis de Tocqueville and the art of democratic statesmanship

Author: Brian Danoff; L Joseph Hebert
Publisher: Lanham, Md. : Lexington Books, ©2011.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"At a time when the forces of administrative despotism are on the march and Winfreyesque rhetoric passes for moral leadership and intellectual sophistication, Brian Danoff and L. Joseph Hebert, Jr., have assembled a compelling collection of timely essays on the political thought of Alexis de Tocqueville, that liberal thinker of the first rank who endeavored to see f̀urther than the parties' without any pretense to
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Genre/Form: History
Named Person: Alexis de Tocqueville; Alexis de Tocqueville; Alexis de Tocqueville
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Brian Danoff; L Joseph Hebert
ISBN: 9780739145296 0739145290 9780739145302 0739145304
OCLC Number: 664451072
Description: vii, 341 pages ; 24 cm
Contents: Speech given to the annual public meeting of the academy of moral and political sciences on April 3, 1852 / Alexis de Tocqueville --
Leading by leaving / Susan McWilliams --
Aristotle and Tocqueville on statesmanship / Aristide Tessitore --
Machiavelli and Tocqueville on majority tyranny / Khalil M. Habib --
Montesquieu, Tocqueville, and the politics of mores / F. Flagg Taylor IV --
Intellectuals and statesmanship? Tocqueville, Oakeshott, and the distinction between theoretical and practical knowledge / Richard Boyd and Conor Williams --
Tocqueville's view of the American presidency and the limits of democratic statesmanship / William B. Parsons, Jr. --
Changing the people, not simply the president : the limitations and possibilities of the Obama presidency, in Tocquevillian perspective / Thad Williamson --
Moderating the penal state through citizen participation : a neo-Tocquevillian perspective on court professionals and juries in a democracy / Albert W. Dzur --
From associations to organizations : Tocqueville, NGOs, and the colonization of civic leadership / Derek Barker --
The tragedy of American progress : Alexis de Tocqueville and Willa Cather's My Àntonia / Jon D. Schaff --
The Catholic church in the modern world : a Tocquevillian analysis of Vatican II / L. Joseph Hebert, Jr. --
Tocqueville on how to praise the Puritans today / Peter Augustine Lawler --
Tocqueville's foreign policy of moderation and democracy expansion / Paul Carrese --
The twofold challenge for democratic culture in our time / Thomas L. Pangle.
Responsibility: edited by Brian Danoff and L. Joseph Hebert, Jr.

Abstract:

"At a time when the forces of administrative despotism are on the march and Winfreyesque rhetoric passes for moral leadership and intellectual sophistication, Brian Danoff and L. Joseph Hebert, Jr., have assembled a compelling collection of timely essays on the political thought of Alexis de Tocqueville, that liberal thinker of the first rank who endeavored to see f̀urther than the parties' without any pretense to post-partisanship, who understood that more democracy is not always the answer to every problem of democracy, and who concerned himself with educating democratic peoples so that they may live together as free citizens rather than exist independently as dependent subjects. This fine collection situates Tocqueville within the history of ideas, ancient and modern, and examines the significance of his observations, predictions, and prescriptions as they pertain to a wide variety of topics with contemporary relevance. The chapters in this volume articulate the proper relationship between political theory, political science, and political practice, emphasizing the necessity for genuine republican statesmanship while honestly wondering about its chances given the trajectory of late modern America."--Travis D. Smith. Concordia University, Montreal.

In 1835, Alexis de Tocqueville famously called for "a new political science" that could address the problems and possibilities of a "world itself quite new." For Tocqueville, the democratic world needed not just a new political science but also new arts of statesmanship and leadership. In this volume, Brian Danoff and L. Joseph Hebert, Jr., have brought together a diverse set of essays revealing that Tocqueville's understanding of democratic statesmanship remains highly relevant today. The first chapter of the book is a new translation of Tocqueville's 1852 address to the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences, in which he offers a profound exploration of the relationship between theory and practice, and between statesmanship and political philosophy. Subsequent chapters explore the relationship between Tocqueville's ideas on statesmanship on the one hand, and the ideas of Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Montesquieu, the Puritans, the framers of the U.S. Constitution, Oakeshott, Willa Cather, and the Second Vatican Council on the other. Timely and provocative, these essays show the relevance of Tocqueville's theory of statesmanship for thinking about such contemporary issues as the effects of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) on civic life, the powers of the American presidency, the place of the jury in a democratic polity, the role of religion in public life, the future of democracy in Europe, and the proper balance between liberalism and realism in foreign policy. --Book Jacket.

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