American democracy : aspects of practical liberalism /
Gottfried Dietze.
Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, c1993.
xiii, 290 p.
0801845076 (acid-free paper)
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Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, c1993.
0801845076 (acid-free paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1993-09:
Dietze (Johns Hopkins Univ.) contends that the US is well on its way toward realizing "pure liberalism," by which he means the quest for freedom unchecked by any commitment to substantive values or individual natural rights. Americans' infatuation with the new, their material rapacity, geographical mobility, and quickness to agitate are all marks of an affirmation of absolute freedom. The same is evidenced in the political evolution from constitutional, indirect, and elitist democracy to unlimited, virtually direct, and egalitarian democracy. The thesis is provocative, but supporting arguments are terribly executed. The author rambles from loose historical analyses to irrelevant personal anecdotes to lengthy lists of random quotations, uninterpreted statistics, and chapter titles of books of a given era. He adds nothing new to the treatment his theme receives in such classic works as Tocqueville's Democracy in America or Jos'e Ortega y Gasset's Revolt of the Masses (1932). Not recommended for academic libraries. D. H. Rice; University of Arkansas at Little Rock
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, September 1993
Reference & Research Book News, September 1993
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Table of Contents
Preface to the American Edition
Preface to the German Edition
Introduction: America's Liberal Democracyp. 1
The New, Freedom, Faithfulnessp. 13
Heterogeneity and the Melting Potp. 22
Freedom and Manifest Destinyp. 27
Unlimited Opportunities, Free Government, Liberal Variationsp. 34
The Business of America Is Businessp. 47
Coming and Going, Pursuit of Happiness, Changingp. 52
American People
Emigrating, Immigratingp. 69
Moving, Rovingp. 85
Demonstrating, Agitatingp. 109
American Democracy
The Constitution Newly Constitutedp. 127
The Constitution in Old Dressp. 142
Jefferson and Pure Liberalismp. 153
From Elitist to Egalitarian Democracyp. 165
From Representative to Direct Democracyp. 176
From Limited to Unlimited Democracyp. 186
Potpourri in the Melting Potp. 216
Final Remarks: American Dreams and Worriesp. 233
Postscript: Liberalism, Modernism, Americanismp. 251
Selected Works Referred to in the Textp. 267
Additional Selected Worksp. 275
Indexp. 281
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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