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Mere Civility: Disagreement and the Limits of Toleration Paperback – October 29, 2019

4.8 out of 5 stars 15 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Penetrating and sophisticated.”James Ryerson, New York Times Book Review

Mere Civility is centered in the years after the Reformation, when the emergence of myriad Protestant sects splintered communities across Western Europe. That splintering was magnified, just as in our own time, by the explosion of a new means of communication―the printing press―which allowed people who had never before had a public voice to spread their ideas far and wide. Invectives and broadsides were the order of the day, as members of different religious denominations fought for each other’s souls, and incivility became a central concern of political thought. I doubt that for most readers of Mere Civility, this account of social disarray in the Reformation years is a huge surprise. But by keeping a tight focus on the concept of civility, Bejan manages to make that old story feel new―or at least to draw new lessons from it, lessons that are particularly interesting within the context of contemporary political theory… [Mere Civility] does not purport to solve the problems of incivility, but it unknots them, making the nature of the problems―both in general and in this time of numbing nostalgia―more evident. Would that more of us might learn to look into the past with such gravity and humility. We might end up with a more (or mere) civil society, yet.”Susan McWilliams, Los Angeles Review of Books

“A deeply admirable book: original, persuasive, witty, and eloquent. It is also admirably, bracingly, skeptical, in the best sense: the kind of liberal skepticism that we associate in political theory with Judith Shklar, Bernard Williams, and George Kateb.”Jacob T. Levy, Review of Politics

“Bejan’s important book is beautifully written, cogently argued, and provocative. It foregrounds the matter of ‘civility’ with astute historical analysis of touchstone texts in political thought.”Jeffrey Collins, Queens University

Mere Civility is a terrific book―learned, vigorous, and challenging. Bejan makes Roger Williams the hero of this story and the thinker who provides a principled justification for America’s exceptional permissiveness toward ‘uncivil’ speech. Justifying the American status quo isn’t easy. Doing it with arguments that are often surprising is even harder.”Alison McQueen, Stanford University

“This carefully argued and documented volume documents three early modern understandings of civility, offering that of Rhode Island’s founder, Roger Williams, as a fitting response to our perceived crisis of civility.”J. H. Fritz, Choice

“Impressive.”Scott Yenor, Claremont Review of Books

About the Author

Teresa M. Bejan is Associate Professor of Political Theory in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Oriel College.

The Sandman Act 1
The Sandman offers a dark, literary world of fantasy and horror. Listen free

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Harvard University Press; Reprint edition (October 29, 2019)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0674241649
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0674241640
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 11.2 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 15 ratings

Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5
15 global ratings
5 star
88%
4 star 0% (0%) 0%
3 star
12%
2 star 0% (0%) 0%
1 star 0% (0%) 0%
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on January 4, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on February 3, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on February 20, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on January 31, 2019
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars The best piece of academic writing I have read in a very long time
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 23, 2017
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