Read alsoImagining Zion
This timely book tells the fascinating story of how Zionists colonizers planned and established nearly 700 agricultural settlements, towns, and cities from the 1880s to the present. This extraordinary activity of planners, architects, social scientists, military personnel, politicians, and settlers is inextricably linked to multiple…
An important contribution of the book is its integration of gay issues into American intellectual history. Viewing James's and Santayana's attitudes toward their homosexuality as affecting their views of American society, Dawidoff examines this significant and overlooked element in the American intellectual and cultural mix. Dawidoff also includes powerful new readings of Adams's Democracy and James's The Ambassadors and discusses Santayana's Americanist essays.
In his foreward, Alan Trachtenberg notes the "taboo" that seems to have fallen over the word democracy. "It is rarely encountered anymore in humanistic studies," he says, " snubbed in favor of gender, class, race, region." This trend, he says, may be in part due to an unease about studying the culture in which we participate because the posture of the cutural critic implies a certain detachment. "The Genteel Tradition and the Sacred Rage returns the question of democracy to centerstage," he concludes, "not as political theory alone but as cultural and personal experience."
Originally published in 1992.
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