The Struggle for Self-Rule in European and American Thought
Oxford University Press 2016
New Books in American StudiesNew Books in European StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Intellectual HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Political ScienceNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network October 21, 2016 Lilian Calles Barger
James Kloppenberg is the Charles Warren Professor of American history at Harvard University. Toward Democracy: The Struggle for Self-Rule in European and American Thought (Oxford University Press, 2016) offers a detailed and sweeping intellectual history of the ideas that are at the heart of the democratic process. Kloppenberg traces the features of democracy beginning with ancient Athens and Rome to revolutionary America and Europe to the challenge of the American Civil War. He examines the conflict fraught process of applying the principles of deliberation, pluralism, and reciprocity in establishing a form of government in which popular sovereignty, autonomy and equality would be realized. Drawing from the works of multitude religious and Enlightenment thinkers and placing ideas within cultural and often violent political upheaval, Kloppenberg challenges us to reflect on the unfulfilled promise of American democracy.
Lilian Calles Barger, www.lilianbarger.com, is a cultural, intellectual and gender historian. Her current book project is entitled The World Come of Age: Religion, Intellectuals and the Challenge of Human Liberation.