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Making Patriots

New. Sprache: Englisch.
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Titel: Making Patriots
Autor/en: Walter Berns

ISBN: 0226044378
EAN: 9780226044378
Sprache: Englisch.

Mai 2001 - gebunden - 164 Seiten

Samuel Johnson once called patriotism "the last refuge of scoundrels," but was he right? Recent events, such as the bombing of federal buildings and the formation of threatening militias in the name of patriotism, suggest that he may have been on to something. But the United States has also seen its share of heroes: patriots who, over the course of history, have willingly put their lives at risk for this country and, especially, for its principles. This is even more remarkable given that the United States is founded on the concepts of equality and democracy--tenets that encourage individuality and autonomy far more readily than public spiritedness and self-sacrifice.Walter Berns's "Making Patriots" is a stirring and provocative essay on precisely this paradox. How is patriotism inculcated in a system that, some argue, is founded on self-interest? Expertly and intelligibly guiding the reader through the history and philosophy of patriotism in a republic, from the ancient Greeks through contemporary life, Berns considers the unique nature of patriotism in the United States and its precarious position as we enter the twenty-first century. He argues that while both public education and the influence of religion once helped to foster a public-minded citizenry, the very idea of patriotism is currently under attack.Berns finds the best answers to his questions in the thoughts and words of Abraham Lincoln, who understood perhaps better than anyone what the principles of democracy meant and what price adhering to them may exact. The graves at Arlington and Gettysburg--and Omaha Beach in Normandy--bear witness to the fact that self-interested individuals can become patriots, and "Making Patriots"is a compelling exploration of how this was done and how it might be done again.
Classical patriotism, especially the Spartan; God before country?; commerce and country; educating young patriots; Lincoln, patriotism's poet; "What Country Have I?"; the patriot's flag.
Walter Berns is the John M. Olin University Professor Emeritus at Georgetown University and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. His books include In Defense of Liberal Democracy, The First Amendment and the Future of American Democracy, and Taking the Constitution Seriously.
"A profound book." - George F. Will "Thought-provoking and obviously heartfelt.... Berns's book is a brief but stirring hymn to America, not just as an idea but as a reality that moves the hearts of its citizens." - Michael Potemra, National Review "This brief, eloquent book is a beautiful tribute to patriotism, a besieged civic virtue.... The purpose of civics courses in the past was to instill respect for the principles that formed America. The question now, Mr. Berns notes, is whether the private realm can take up the slack. We are all beneficiaries of patriotism. Whether we are continuing the necessary task of making patriots is the challenge this profound book invites us to ponder." - Roger Kimball, Wall Street Journal "Wise and penetrating.... With Making Patriots, Walter Berns has done his part to help us make patriots, but there is still the larger challenge out there, to find a voice that can poetically express our love of country in the age of e-mail, irony, and the market." - David Brooks, Weekly Standard "Berns's argument shines best... when discussing how Americans, led by Abraham Lincoln, the poet of patriotism, and Frederick Douglass, the abolitionist patriot, enriched patriotism by destroying slavery and expanding citizenship and democracy. He engages readers, especially conservatives, to think critically about patriotism's core values." - Library Journal "Berns understands, as so many political theorists do not, how demanding citizenship can be. 'No one is born loving his country,' he writes wisely; 'such love is not natural, but has to be taught or acquired." - Alan Wolfe, The New Republic
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