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Liberal Nationalism (Studies in Moral, Political, and Legal Philosophy) Paperback – July 3, 1995

ISBN-13: 978-0691001746 ISBN-10: 069100174X

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Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Moral, Political, and Legal Philosophy
  • Paperback: 206 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (July 3, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 069100174X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691001746
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,055,226 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Tamir, who teaches philosophy at Tel-Aviv University, offers an intriguing argument for the compatibility of the personal autonomy of liberalism with the loyalty and solidarity of nationalism. Her exposition is mainly theoretical, critiquing major thinkers like John Rawls and Isaiah Berlin, with occasional contemporary examples, especially on the issue of cultural belonging in Israel. Though she recognizes the potential excesses of nationalism, Tamir argues cogently that such communal feelings are necessary to support the modern liberal welfare state. Because each group cannot have its own state in this ethnically and nationally heterogenous world, Tamir suggests that smaller jurisdictions could allow minorities like Basques and Catalans limited autonomy, while they remain linked by broader political alliances like the European Community. But the EC is hardly thriving, and Tamir acknowledges that she has no solution for the tensions caused by imbalances between member nations.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"As this century staggers to its balkanized end, it is harder than ever to believe, with Mazzini, that liberal principle can be reconciled with nationalism, or that national liberation can ever have liberal results. It is against this brutal historical background that one begins to appreciate the daring of Yael Tamir's enterprise.... This is a book of philosophy that illuminates the real world.... [An] intelligent and humane work."--Michael Ignatieff, The New Republic

"Tamir constructs a philosophical ideal of nationalism, but in leading the reader to questions such as this, she also performs a valuable service for those who try to understand its reality."--Liah Greenfeld, American Political Science Review

"One hopes that her argument here will lead liberal states to reexamine their obligations to all citizens of the world, not just those within their borders."--David McCabe, Commonweal

"Yael Tamir has made an important theoretical contribution to a crucial debate that should interest anyone trying to come to terms with contemporary politics. It is a mark of her achievement that one finishes the book willing to credit the non-oxymoronic nature of the term `liberal nationalism' and, thus, to accept the possibility that [one is not forced] to choose between these."--Sanford Levinson, Ethics

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Wendy Friedrich on December 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
I feel obliged due to the less-than-illuminating customer reviews to say something about this wonderful book. First, there are not that many "big words"--but her discussion of nationalism and/in the liberal welfare state *is* pitched at an academic level (this is, after all, an academic book), in part because what she wants to say draws on many other theorists (like Rawls most memorably, as when she argues that Rawls' principles of justice [esp. distributive justice] cannot be justified without underlying nationalist feelings of togetherness). It is actually quite a short read (the book is not long), and very informative. Tamir argues that nationalist sentiments can animate our commitments to social justice [she even makes a surprising and compelling case that they already DO in modern liberal welfare states in her chapter "A Hidden Agenda"]--and I like the way she argues that this does not stop at state borders. She gives the example of Jews in Israel helping Jews in Ethiopia. This example allows her to claim that "recognizing the binding power of associative obligations [which she claims come with nationalism] increases rather than lessens the scope of our obligations to help others" (100). I don't agree with this book--mainly because I do not consider myself a member of any particular nation, and yet, as a member of the wealthiest nation-state in the world, I see myself as having a strong moral obligation to contribute part of the money I make to poorer people of other nations. But Tamir makes a very strong case to the contrary.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
...I found this book simple and straightforward, as well as an interesting read. Judging by the spelling and grammar errors in the gentleman's own review, perhaps he should stick to "simpler" texts which don't hurt his head. Furthermore, I don't see how being a student of Computer Science or Econonomics would necessarily make him an expert on liberal philosophy or sociology.
Tamir's work is thought-provoking and an interesting attempt to reconcile her own nationalistic sentiments with liberalism. Anyone interested in the topic of nationalism should give it a look.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
Excellent book. Important contribution to a pressing debate. Warning: as with many excellent books that make important contributions to pressing debates, it includes many big words. Moderately intellegent readers should still be able to sound them out, with a little perserverence. Also, I found that even the especially difficult words can be found in most dictionaries.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
I find that big words are sometimes necessary to clearly convey complex ideas. This is an important book, and a significant contribution to the debate on the subject.
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3 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
I am an unfortunate college student given the horrible task of writing a report based on a couple chapters from this book for a philosophy class. i just want to say that this book is filled with words that are an average of 15 letters long, and by the time you reach the end of a sentance, you've probably forgotten what the beginning was and its just a whole confusing mess. i am not a lazy person who doesnt like to read or has a low IQ. I am an Economics and Computer Science major with a good GPA and I know what I am talking about. I just feel that this book violates the Keep it simple principle. There is no use to use words and language that no one's heard of in order to sound intelluctual. THis book just sounds too gothic like latin or greek and its just been a hellish experience reading it. I wish i didnt have to read the rest of it coz i every minute i spend trying to understand what the author is trying to say seem like a big waste of time. I dont blame my university of making us take this unrelated course for major requirements. i blame the author for writing such crap. dont read it unless you're stuck on a desert island with nothing else to read....but maybe then you could use this as toilet paper
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