Understanding Dogmas and Dreams: A Text

Understanding Dogmas and Dreams: A Text

Understanding Dogmas and Dreams: A Text

Understanding Dogmas and Dreams: A Text


As a companion volume to Dogmas and Dreams the aim of this book is to guide the student and lay reader towards an intelligent understanding of contemporary political thinking. This should encourage a more democratic approach to the political process.


Political ideologies are the value-laden, conflict-ridden, philosophical substance of modern politics. They have been variously described as "decontested meanings," "social levers," "ethical impulses," "metaphysical illusions," "accepted values," and the "social imaginary." Behind these different definitions lies general agreement that ideologies perform an important political function: they bridge the gap between theory and practice. Their role as the "translators" of ideas into action is what prompts my continued interest in studying them.

In keeping with that interest, I have written this book not only for students of political theory but also for those who study American government and comparative politics. Wherever possible, I have illustrated the effects of theoretical ideas with examples from practical politics. These include discussions of Lani Guinier on proportional representation, Charles Murray on affirmative action, Vaclav Havel on post- totalitarian politics, Murray Bookchin on sustainable communities, Audre Lorde on multicultural feminism, and many more.

I have also written this text to complement the selections from primary sources published in Dogmas and Dreams: A Reader. To maintain continuity, some of the introductions to those readings reappear here. However, these analyses offer students a much broader and deeper understanding of their subject. This text provides a companion to the reader and a comprehensive study of political ideologies.

My interest in the complex connections between historical developments and normative theories began when I was a graduate student at . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.