The Liberal Tradition in America: An Interpretation of American Political Thought since the Revolution

The Liberal Tradition in America: An Interpretation of American Political Thought since the Revolution

The Liberal Tradition in America: An Interpretation of American Political Thought since the Revolution

The Liberal Tradition in America: An Interpretation of American Political Thought since the Revolution

Synopsis

Hartz’s influential interpretation of american political thought since the Revolution. He contends that americanca gave rise to a new concept of a liberal society, a “liberal tradition” that has been central to our experience of events both at home and abroad. New Introduction by Tom Wicker; Index.

Excerpt

I first advanced the concept of a liberal society in a series of articles on the American Revolution, the early Whigs, and the Civil War which appeared in 1952 in the American Political Science Review and the Western Political Quarterly. These articles are reprinted here, with the permission of those journals, but a special word is necessary concerning one. The essay on the Revolution, which is the first of two chapters on that subject, was written before I had the argument of the book clearly in mind and therefore tends to generalize also about problems dealt with in other places. Since it is a unit in itself, I have permitted it to stand essentially as it was written.

It is a pleasure to acknowledge here the debt I owe to Samuel Beer, whose wide erudition and keenness of mind have helped me over much difficult terrain, especially in the European field. I have also gained much from numerous discussions with Adam Ulam largely concerning Europe, and with Robert McCloskey, William Dowling, and Rush Welter mainly in connection with the American materials. I am profoundly grateful, too, to Earl Latham, whose personal interest and scholarly criticism have been continuous, and to David Owen, who read certain chapters of the book in manuscript. A good deal of my work was done in the course of a Faculty Research Fellowship of the Social Science Research Council, sponsored by . . .

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