States of Perfect Freedom: Autobiography and American Political Thought

By Philip Abbott | Go to book overview

NOTES

Introduction
1. Louis Hartz, The Liberal Tradition in America ( New York, 1955), p. 309. Hartz's analysis, despite its boldness, is so richly presented that it is difficult to categorize. At some points (most notably in his treatment of the Whigs and Progressives) his position is quite close to that of the liberal hegemonists below. On this aspect of Hartz see Robert C. Grady, "Liberalism and the Crisis of Authority", paper presented at the Southern Political Science Association Meetings, November 1978. Other examples of consensus writings that show the wide range of interpretation are Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., Epilogue: The One and the Many," in Paths of American Thought, ed. Schlesinger and Morton White ( Boston, 1963), pp. 531-38; Seymour Martin Lipset, The First New Nation ( New York, 1973); F. M. Coleman , Hobbes and America ( Toronto, 1977); Robert A. Goldwin, "Of Men and Angels: A Search for Morality in the Constitution," in The Moral Foundations of the American Republic, ed. Robert H. Horwitz ( Charlottesville, 1979), pp. 1-18.
2. Daniel Boorstin, The Genius of American Politics ( Chicago, 1958), p. 2.
3. Robert McCloskey, "American Political Thought and the Study of Politics," in Approaches to the Study of Politics, ed. Roland Young ( Evanston, 1971), p. 156-57.
4. See Harvey Klehr, "Marxist Theory in Search of America," Journal of Politics 35 ( 1973): 311-31.
5. Again the interpretive range is quite wide. See Werner Sombart, Why is There No Socialism in the United States? ( 1905; reprint ed., White Plains, N.Y., 1976); Earl Browder, The Peoples' Front ( New York, 1938); Norman Thomas, Socialism Re-examined ( New York, 1963); Selig Perlman, A Theory of the Labor Movement ( New York, 1949). More recently, the exceptionalist thesis has been recast by Michael Harrington in his Socialism ( New York, 1972), chap. 9.
6. Leon Samson, Toward a United Front ( New York, 1935), p. 17.
7. Bruce Johnson, "The Democratic Mirage: Notes Toward a Theory of American Politics," Berkeley Journal of Sociology 13 ( 1968), reprinted as a Warner Modular Publication (#315), p. 9.
8. The pivotal interpretive source is Antonio Gramsci and, to a lesser extent, Raymond Williams. Examples of Gramscian-inspired American scholarship include Mike Davis, "Why the U.S. Working Class is Different," New Left Review 123 ( October 1980): 3-45; Stanley Aronowitz, False Promises ( New York, 1973); Todd Gitlin, The Whole World Is Watching ( Berkeley, 1980); Harry Boyte, The Backyard Revolution ( Philadelphia, 1982); Tom Hayden, The American Future ( Boston, 1980); Ira Katznelson, City Trenches ( New York, 1981). In many ways the acceptance of the liberal hegemony thesis represents the same sort of strategic decision for the Left that the exceptionalist question posed. See, for instance, the debate "Prospects for the Left," Socialist Review 43 ( 1979): 91-142. Ironically, Gramsci himself may have been an exceptionalist theorist with regard to

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States of Perfect Freedom: Autobiography and American Political Thought
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents ix
  • Preface xi
  • Chapter One - Introduction 3
  • Chapter Two - Hustling 25
  • Chapter Three - Redeeming Henry David Thoreau 59
  • Chapter Four - Judging 91
  • Chapter Five - Remembering 125
  • Chapter Six - Reforming 157
  • Chapter Seven - Conclusion 183
  • Notes 197
  • Index 209
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