American Political Thought : An Alternative View book cover
1st Edition

American Political Thought
An Alternative View

ISBN 9781138666368
Published April 20, 2017 by Routledge
198 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $48.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

The twenty-first century presents unique political challenges, like increasing concern over racially based police brutality and mass incarceration, continuing economic and gender inequality, the rise of conservative and libertarian politics, and the appropriate role of religion in American politics. Current scholarship in American political thought research neither adequately responds to the contemporary moment in American politics nor fully captures the depth and scope of this rich tradition.

This collection of essays offers an innovative expansion of the American political tradition. By exposing the major ideas and thinkers of the four major yet still underappreciated alternative traditions of American political thought—African American, feminist, radical and conservative—this book challenges the boundaries of American political thinking about such values like freedom, justice, equality, democracy, economy, rights, identity, and the role of the state in American life. These traditions, the various authors show in different ways, not only present a much fuller and more accurate characterization of what counts as American political thought. They are also especially unique for the conceptual resources they provide for addressing contemporary developments in American politics.

Offering an original and substantive interpretation of thinkers and movements, American Political Thought will help students understand how to put American political thought into conversation with contemporary debates in political theory.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

List of Contributors

Introduction: American Political Thought: An Alternative View

Jonathan Keller and Alex Zamalin

Section I: African-American and Feminist Political Thought

Chapter1: African American Political Thought, Democracy and Freedom

Alex Zamalin

Chapter 2: Culture, Race, and Sovereignty: Problems in Contemporary Black Thought

Utz McKnight

Chapter 3: Audre Lorde and the Poetics of Love In the Movement for Black Lives

Laura Grattan

Chapter 4: Against Nostalgia: The Political Theory of Ida B. Wells

Jill Locke

Chapter 5: Revolutionary Pasts and Transnational Futures: "Home Lessons" from U.S. Radical and Third World Feminisms

Jocelyn M. Boryczka

Section II: Radical American Political Thought

Chapter 6: The Dispossession of the Public and the "Common Benefits" Clause: Working Against Neoliberal Oligarchy through U.S. State Constitutions

Shannon Mariotti

Chapter 7: John Dewey and the Geography of Power

Jason Kosnoski

Chapter 8: Counter-Patriotism and American Radical Politics

Maxwell Burkey

Section III: Conservative Political Thought

Chapter 9: An Alternative Tradition in Conservative Political Economy

Peter Kolozi

Chapter 10: A Rich Tapestry: Varieties of Conservative Jurisprudence

David G. Leitch

Chapter 11: The Christian Right and the American Biblical Tradition

Jonathan Keller

View More



Jonathan Keller is Assistant Professor of Government at Manhattan College. His research is on American political thought, American political development and religion in American politics.

Alex Zamalin is Director of the African American Studies Program and Assistant Professor of Political Science at University of Detroit Mercy. He has written essays on topics such as politics and literature, ethics, social justice, psychoanalysis and race, and race and American politics.


'Bringing together an impressive group of scholars, Keller and Zamalin have edited a timely and essential book that elevates several underappreciated writers and thinkers to their rightful place in the history of American political thought.  They also make a persuasive case that only by including the ideas of the marginalized--particularly African-Americans, feminists, radicals, and conservatives--can we truly understand the intellectual soul of America.' - Robert J. Lacey, Iona College, author of Pragmatic Conservatism: Edmund Burke and His American Heirs

'Far too many scholars still think of American political thought as a series of variations on classical liberalism and civic republicanism. Jonathan Keller and Alex Zamalin’s American Political Thought: An Alternative View shows us how much more lively the picture really is. Bringing figures such as David Walker, George Fitzhugh, Emma Goldman, and Audre Lorde into the foreground, the book illustrates how radical and conservative, feminist and African American thinkers offered strikingly oppositional visions of the future. This collection remaps American political thought in a most productive way.' - Jack Turner, author of Awakening to Race: Individualism and Social Consciousness in America