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Restoration of the Republic: The Jeffersonian Ideal in 21st-Century America Paperback – April 8, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0195174281 ISBN-10: 0195174283

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Editorial Reviews

Review


"An elegant...re-reading of Jefferson for the new century....[Hart's] historical conversation with Jefferson's evolving ideas and shining ideals...reminds readers that we can never look forward without understanding where we've been. That alone, especially in a present forever altered last September, is a worthy message."--The San Francisco Chronicle


"An insightful discussion of the problems in our civic life today....Hart's fine effort focus[es] our attention on the perils in our present [governmental] situation."--The Washington Post Book World


"Politics corrupted by money and special interests. Citizens alienated from government. Much talk of rights, little mention of civic duty. This is the picture of a republic gone astray, according to Thomas Jefferson, who made citizen engagement and authentic democracy the focus of his mature political philosophy. In these pages, Gary Hart takes up questions Jefferson raised 200 years ago, and applies them to America today. He has written a timely, bracing book." --John McCain, U.S. Senator, Arizona


About the Author

Gary Hart, a former U.S. Senator for Colorado and Presidential candidate in 1984, received his D.Phil from Oxford University in 2001. Dr. Hart recently co-chaired, with Warren Rudman, the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century. He will be a lecturer at Yale University in 2002. He is the author of 11 previous books, including The Patriot and The Minuteman.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (April 8, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195174283
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195174281
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 0.9 x 5.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,181,326 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Albert M. Zaccor on April 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
Gary Hart has made a significant contribution to the national discussion on the nature of our political system and our aspirations as a nation.

Very few scholars and commentators have seriously explored the serious erosion of authority and viability of our local communities and economies in the face of urbanization/surbanization, the ascendancy of consumerism, and the continued march of globalization. One writer who has explored the social and economic (especially agricultural) aspects of this problem is Wendell Berry. Berry, however, locates the problem in the larger culture and does not offer any detailed political prescriptions. I am not sure that Berry would agree, but I think that Hart's argument is a natural complement to his, coming at some of the same problems from a political perspective. Hart makes a serious attempt to articulate a vision for maintaining local control despite the centralizing forces in our national and international political and economic systems. Both Berry and Hart ask us if we can truly claim to be a "free" people when we give up all real control of our local communities and economies to distant unnaccountable political and economic elites. Neither author offers ultimate solutions to these problems, but both ask the right questions and point us in the right direction.

In the conclusion Hart describes the extreme individualism, alienation, and "atomization" that afflicts contemporary American life. He holds out the vision of a local republic as a response to these trends and their related social ills. (In response to the comments of an earlier reviewer, Hart is on solid analytical ground in pointing out Americans' lack of participation in local community and political affairs.
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