Restoration of the Republic: The Jeffersonian Ideal in 21st-Century America (Paperback)
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Rarely does scholarship anticipate the most dramatic events of the moment. In this timely work Gary Hart does just that, arguing for the restoration of republican virtues and for homeland security as an important first step. The American democratic republic has from its founding been a paradoxical success. Simultaneously attached to state and national power, citizens' rights and citizens' duties, American democracy has uniquely turned its reliance on consent from the governed into a powerful governing of the consenting. In a remarkable political feat, America's founders combined mixed government, the language of popular sovereignty and a self-conscious emphasis on checks and balances to forge a republic that has weathered the test of time. The complex realities of the twenty-first century, however, have fundamentally challenged the underpinnings of this enduring American experiment, repeatedly exposing the tensions at the heart of America's mixed system of government. What then is the nature of an American republic in an age of democracy? How can the democratic values of social justice and equality be balanced with republican values of civic duty and popular sovereignty? Bringing to light a long-neglected aspect of Thomas Jefferson's political philosophy--the "ward republic"--Gary Hart here offers a wholly original blueprint for republican restoration in which every citizen can participate democratically in the governing of his or her own life. Of crucial relevance for contemporary society, including its startlingly prescient plan for homeland security, Restoration of the Republic provides original insights into issues of national urgency as well as the timeless questions that bedevil the American democratic experiment.
About the Author
Gary Hart represented Colorado in the U.S. Senate from 1975 to 1987. He is the author of seventeen books, has taught at Yale, and lectured at the University of California and Oxford University, where he earned a doctor of philosophy degree in politics in 2001. As co-chair of the U.S. Commission on National Security for the 21st Century, he was credited with forecasting a 9/11-type attack. He resides with his family in Kittredge, Colorado.