This concise, comprehensive primer on modern American social and political thought is the ideal introduction to the rich intellectual tradition of the United Sates. Andreas Hess helps the reader to understand of American culture and politics through careful exploration of key and theorists. In the first half of the book he focuses on the core traditions of American social and political thoughtAmerican exceptionalism, Calvinist Protestantism, republicanism, liberalism and 20th century pragmatism. The second half of the book applies these traditions to a broad range of 20th century conditions and issuespower and democracy, justice and injustice, multiculturalism and pluralism, civil society, social theory and the role of the intellectual. The works of some of the most influential figures in the field, such as De Tocqueville, Lipset, Arendt, Hartz, Pocock, Dewey, Moore, Rawls, Walzer, Rorty and Alexander, are drawn upon to illustrate the theories and issues being discussed. Accessibly written and jargon free, this treatment will be useful for students and scholars alike.
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Andreas Hess is a lecturer in Sociology at University College Dublin. He is the author of American Social and Political Thought: An Introduction (2000), and Concepts of Social Stratification (2001).Review:
"This is a good book. Its topic and argument are ambitious but the book is short and clear."-Thesis Eleven
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