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Political Moderation in America's First Two Centuries (Hardback)
  • Political Moderation in America's First Two Centuries (Hardback)
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Political Moderation in America's First Two Centuries (Hardback)

(author)
£54.00
Hardback 310 Pages / Published: 22/09/2008
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Political Moderation in America's First Two Centuries corrects the popular misconception that moderates are timid and cautious. Robert M. Calhoon examines the structure of political moderation; he characterizes moderation as a compound of principle and prudence; he defines it as humility in the face of the past; and he classifies it as historically grounded political ethics. From its origins in the Peloponnesian War and its early modern recovery during the French Wars of Religion, this book recounts the popularization of political moderation in American history from John Locke in the 1680s to the Mugwumps in the 1880s. The first comprehensive history of this subject, this book draws on more that a hundred books published over the past half century and extensive research on religion and politics in America to demonstrate that moderates were creatures of circumstance - made not born.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521515542
Number of pages: 310
Weight: 520 g
Dimensions: 228 x 152 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'Raymond Chandler observed that there are no dull subjects, only dull minds. Political moderation must seem the dullest of subjects, but in the hands of Robert Calhoon, a gifted historian, it emerges not only as illuminating history but as imperative for an understanding of our own tortured times.' Eugene D. Genovese, author of Roll Jordan Roll and Mind of the Master Class
'This is a wise, humane, and learned book. In the midst of an era torn by conflict and locked, some say, in cultural 'wars,' Calhoon has illustrated the power of moderation in America's past. No tepid 'centrists,' the politicians, preachers, and pedagogues who advocated moderation in unlikely places and inconvenient times followed a model of civil action that has roots in ancient Athens and Sparta. Calhoon gives us a view of British governance, the American Revolution, and the era of the Civil War from the perspective of the men and women who combined principle and prudence in a struggle against zealotry and extremism. The book opens us to resources in the American tradition that can serve us well.' E. Brooks Holifield, Emory University
'Like a master sculptor who can see human forms in blocks of marble, Robert Calhoon has identified a vein of political moderation in American history, which time and again, he argues, provided a critical element of strength and stability in the civic community. Deftly interweaving political, intellectual, and religious history, and illustrated with moving vignettes of dozens of Americans who rejected political polarization for conciliation and mediation, Calhoon makes a powerful appeal for recognizing the importance of political moderation in American history, its deep legacy in European political thought, and its continued utility in today's world.' Elizabeth Mancke, University of Akron
'Robert M. Calhoon restores political moderation to its rightful place in American history. Through deft and searching biographical portraits of principled moderates who resisted radical and reactionary appeals, Calhoon illuminates the deeper commitments to custom, tradition, and faith that have made America moderate. Thoughtful and provocative, Political Moderation makes us reconsider the assumptions that have shaped our national narrative.' Peter S. Onuf, University of Virginia
'For three decades Robert Calhoun has produced a steady catalogue of major scholarship on such diverse topics as Loyalists in the American Revolution, life in the southern backcountry, and evangelical conservatives in the antebellum South. Now, with Political Moderation in America's First Two Centuries we have the long awaited synthesis that looks comprehensively and authoritatively at conservative political movements throughout early American history. Thoroughly researched, wonderfully written, and brilliantly synthetic, this books is certain to become the standard on the foundations of American conservatism. In one volume readers are drawn into a definitive summation of 'moderation' in politics, religion, and culture. A must read for students of early America and for all inquirers into the roots of political consciousness in America.' Harry S. Stout, Yale University

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