Catalogue


America and the limits of the politics of selfishness /
Sidney R. Waldman.
imprint
Lanham, Md. : Lexington Books, c2007.
description
x, 125 p.
ISBN
0739115731 (cloth : alk. paper), 9780739115732 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Lanham, Md. : Lexington Books, c2007.
isbn
0739115731 (cloth : alk. paper)
9780739115732 (cloth : alk. paper)
catalogue key
6122680
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 117-118) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Sidney R. Waldman is professor of political science at Haverford College
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2007-09-01:
Waldman (Haverford College) provides a persuasive critique of American democracy that is refreshingly accessible, yet richly compelling in its implications. He argues that the propensity for excessive self-love impoverishes American democracy by creating a political myopia that fails to acknowledge--much less resolve--such intractable problems as poverty, racism, and educational inequality. Excessive self-love is not hedonism, but a failure of compassion for others. Consequently, the modus operandi of American politics is the narrow self-interests of one's family, neighborhood, or class position. If self-love is indeed central to American political culture, then the "public interest" has no real political value beyond its utility as a vacuous campaign slogan. Waldman's diagnosis is dire but the prognosis is favorable, if Americans temper their excessive self-love with morality, compassion, religion, political knowledge, and a willingness to hold politicians accountable. During national crises political leadership certainly matters, but the ultimate responsibility for transforming a political system falls squarely on the shoulders of its citizenry. The author believes Americans can rise to the occasion, and establish a politics that is worthy of themselves, others, and their Creator. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates. M. S. Rodriguez Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Reviews
Review Quotes
Waldman provides a persuasive critique of American democracy that is refreshingly accessible, yet richly compelling in its implications. The author believes Americans can rise to the occasion, and establish a politics that is worthy of themselves, others, and their Creator. Highly recommended.
...this may be a book for you.
An eloquent and persuasive writer, using the language of humanism while citing social science literature, Sidney Waldman demonstrates how morality and compassion have an important role to play in American politics, and that we as citizens are capable of enhancing the moral depth of our political participation. Remarkable for its vitality, this book effectively combats tired cynicism and the weakness of self-interest models of citizenship.
Sidney Waldman's book offers an important and timely critique of the moral basis of contemporary American political institutions and policies. Waldman also offers ideas for moving away from the excessive and corrupting self-love of American politics today toward a more public-centered future. America and the Limits of the Politics of Selfishness is a book that should be read by all students of American politics and by a public that is increasingly concerned about the direction in which the country is headed.
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, September 2007
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Long Description
America and the Limits of the Politics of Selfishness examines Congress, the Presidency, the public, and public policy, demonstrating the important impact of the public's selfishness, morality, compassion, and religious beliefs on the American political system.
Long Description
America and the Limits of the Politics of Selfishness examines Congress, the Presidency, the public, and public policy, demonstrating the important impact of the public's selfishness, morality, compassion, and religious beliefs on the American political system. The influence of public opinion on our democratically elected leaders affects whether our country will be able to find solutions to some of its more important problems. The public's self-love--an exclusive or excessive regard for oneself and one's interests, unbalanced by a concern for others beyond one's family--is critical in impacting the quality of our political system. For example, Waldman illustrates how the public affects the government's ability to solve the problem of failing education in our cities and rural towns. Ultimately, this work reveals the importance of compassion, morality, and religion in dealing with the problem of excessive self-love, with great practical consequences for our country, our own welfare, and that of the world.
Main Description
America and the Limits of the Politics of Selfishness examines Congress, the presidency, the public, and public policy to demonstrate the important impact of the public's selfishness, morality, compassion, and religious beliefs on the American political system. The influence of public opinion on our democratically elected leaders affects whether our country will be able to find solutions to some of its more important problems. The public's self-love-an exclusive or excessive regard for oneself and one's interests, unbalanced by a concern for others beyond one's family-is critical in impacting the quality of our political system. For example, Sydney R. Waldman illustrates how the public affects the government's ability to solve the problem of failing education in our cities and rural towns. Ultimately, this work reveals the importance of compassion, morality, and religion in dealing with the problem of excessive self-love, with great practical consequences for our country, our own welfare, and that of the world. Book jacket.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
Puzzles of Representative Governmentp. 13
The Possibilities and Limits of Presidential and Political Leadershipp. 35
The Publicp. 45
Is There a Role for Morality and Religion in Our Political System?p. 87
A Problem of Accountability and Power in Our Democracyp. 103
Self-Love and Ignorance about the World as well as the United Statesp. 107
Appendixp. 115
Bibliographyp. 117
Indexp. 119
About the Authorp. 125
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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