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American Citizenship: The Quest for Inclusion (The Tanner Lectures on Human Values)

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0674022164
ISBN-10: 0674022165
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Shklar has produced a compelling argument that the right to vote and the right to a job, neither of which was written into the constitution, are nevertheless necessary for full and equal American citizenship. (Washington Monthly)

A short but very potent exploration of the actual meaning of citizenship for Americans...A spirited defense of the highly privatized vision of politics which is certainly the norm in America. (International Journal of Comparative Sociology)

As always, one learns from reading Shklar...The book provides an excellent interpretation of what American citizenship has meant historically. (Political Science Quarterly)

Professor Shklar's book is powerful and profound. She presents an argument that is, in many respects, original. That is, once you take in what Shklar is saying, you wonder why no one else had said it before: it is right, it is illuminating, it had been waiting to be said, it emphatically needs saying. The book is wonderful and rare. (George Kateb, Princeton University)

The thesis of Judith Shklar's American Citizenship is strong, freshly original, completely persuasive--good sense raised to a higher power... It is a deceptively modest small work which achieves large things... Shklar's book will receive an enormous amount of well-deserved attention, for she has a genius for doing what Hegel was so supremely good at: 'capturing' the ethos of a nation and an age with utter persuasive precision. (Patrick Riley, University of Wisconsin–Madison)

Review

Professor Shklar's book is powerful and profound. She presents an argument that is, in many respects, original. That is, once you take in what Shklar is saying, you wonder why no one else had said it before: it is right, it is illuminating, it had been waiting to be said, it emphatically needs saying. The book is wonderful and rare. (George Kateb, Princeton University) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Tanner Lectures on Human Values (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 134 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (August 11, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674022165
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674022164
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #192,047 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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A wonderful analysis and summary of how citizenship has been defined in political theory, and how it was developed in the United States. In the United State, Shklar says that there are two fundamental requirements to citizenship: voting and the ability to earn wages. She maintains that this definition was developed in conjunction with, and was influenced by, chattel slavery. Slavery became one of the signal ways in which non- freedom was defined. She brings in the voices of those who were forbidden to vote: poor white men, blacks, and women. This is a highly readable and very accessible volume. Highly recommended for its analysis, historical sweep, and brevity.
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By Zack on October 15, 2003
Format: Paperback
To Judith Shklar, among all the compnents of citizenship, there are two that are most important - the right to vote, and the right to earn. In regards to the former, in her mind, the act of voting is much less important than having the right to vote, a belief starkly contrasted by Tocqueville. By earning, she means being remunerated for labor. She says that by this definition, aristocrats and beggars cannot be true citizens because they to not earn based upon their own labor; artistocrats - based upon the efforts of others, and beggars - based upon handouts from the money of others. At times, her point is very hard to find, and at other times it seems like she just goes on and on. But overall, I know more for having read it.
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