The Course of American Democratic Thought


In this third edition of The Course of American Democratic Thought, Ralph H. Gabriel, with the assistance of Robert H. Walker, brings his seminal study up to date by taking into account the complicated and fascinating interplay between the events of the past thirty years and the American democratic faith. Although many of the trends had been anticipated in the earlier editions of this work, those discussions only paved the way for the present chronicle of democratic faith in an era that combines nostalgia for traditional values with an almost incredible rate of technical innovation. Gabriel argues that the values he first summarized in the foreword to the first edition, written thirty years ago, are still a basic point of reference for social and political argument. But, he asks, are they the same basic values? The title he chose for the final section of the second edition, The American Democratic Faith Survives in a Time of Revolution and Violence, still seems appropriate, he believes, but there is no doubt that this faith has changed both in context and meaning since that time. This third edition traces this evolution during the last thirty years. Only minor changes and corrections have been made in the first twenty-eight chapters; the bibliography has been updated, but the documentation stands. The last five chapters of this edition represent the addition of considerable new material and the revision and rearrangement of what was already there.

Additional information

Includes content by:
  • Ralph Henry Gabriel
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • New York
Publication year:
  • 1986
  • 3rd


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