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Imagining Deliberative Democracy in the Early American Republic by Sandra M. Gustafson (review)

Imagining Deliberative Democracy in the Early American Republic by Sandra M. Gustafson (review) JOURNAL OF THE EARLY REPUBLIC (Summer 2013) Imagining Deliberative Democracy in the Early American Republic. By Sandra M. Gustafson. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2011. Pp. 271. Cloth, $45.00.) Reviewed by Katherine Henry Michael Sandel has advanced a cogent critique of the liberal ideal of the ``unencumbered self ''--the fiction that citizens can bracket certain fundamental differences and participate in civic life on terms of abstract equality.1 In her important new book Imagining Deliberative Democracy in the Early American Republic, Sandra Gustafson offers a rich and provocative account of what we might call the ``encumbered selves'' who fashioned practices of deliberation in the early nineteenthcentury United States. Her interest is in precisely those moments when the deliberative ideal seems to have reached its limits: both when such ``encumbrances'' as religious conviction or habits of discrimination would seem to preclude compromise, and when such legislation as the Compromise of 1850 seems to reveal the inadequacy of compromise as a means of civic resolution. Gustafson's prior work has already established her reputation as a broadly interdisciplinary scholar of early America with a talent for bringing literary and archival material together in surprising and original ways. Imagining Deliberative Democracy enhances http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the Early Republic University of Pennsylvania Press

Imagining Deliberative Democracy in the Early American Republic by Sandra M. Gustafson (review)

Journal of the Early Republic , Volume 33 (2) – Apr 17, 2013

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 Society for Historians of the Early American Republic.
ISSN
1553-0620
Publisher site
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Abstract

JOURNAL OF THE EARLY REPUBLIC (Summer 2013) Imagining Deliberative Democracy in the Early American Republic. By Sandra M. Gustafson. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2011. Pp. 271. Cloth, $45.00.) Reviewed by Katherine Henry Michael Sandel has advanced a cogent critique of the liberal ideal of the ``unencumbered self ''--the fiction that citizens can bracket certain fundamental differences and participate in civic life on terms of abstract equality.1 In her important new book Imagining Deliberative Democracy in the Early American Republic, Sandra Gustafson offers a rich and provocative account of what we might call the ``encumbered selves'' who fashioned practices of deliberation in the early nineteenthcentury United States. Her interest is in precisely those moments when the deliberative ideal seems to have reached its limits: both when such ``encumbrances'' as religious conviction or habits of discrimination would seem to preclude compromise, and when such legislation as the Compromise of 1850 seems to reveal the inadequacy of compromise as a means of civic resolution. Gustafson's prior work has already established her reputation as a broadly interdisciplinary scholar of early America with a talent for bringing literary and archival material together in surprising and original ways. Imagining Deliberative Democracy enhances

Journal

Journal of the Early RepublicUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: Apr 17, 2013

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