The Necessity of Choice : Nineteenth Century Political Thought book cover
1st Edition

The Necessity of Choice
Nineteenth Century Political Thought

ISBN 9781412854870
Published November 30, 2014 by Routledge
200 Pages

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Book Description

Louis Hartz is best known for his classic study, The Liberal Tradition in America. At Harvard University, his lecture course on nineteenth-century politics and ideologies was memorable. Through the editorial hand of Paul Roazen, we can now share the experience of Hartz's considerable contributions to the theory of politics.

At the root of Hartz's work is the belief that revolution is not produced by misery, but by pressure of a new system on an old one. This approach enables him to explain sharp differences in revolutionary traditions. Because America essentially was a liberal society from its beginning and had no need for revolutions, America also lacked reactionaries, and lacked a tradition of genuine conservatism characteristic of European thought.

In lectures embracing Rousseau, Burke, Comte, Hegel, Mill, and Marx among others, Hartz develops a keen sense of the delicate balance between the role of the state in both enhancing and limiting personal freedom. Hartz notably insisted on the autonomy of intellectual life and the necessity of individual choice as an essential ingredient of liberty.

Table of Contents

Foreword, by Benjamin R. Barber

Introduction, by Paul Roazen

Part I: The Revolutionary Background

1 Origins

2 The Religious Problem

3 The Economic Question

4 Culture and Tradition: Condorcet

5 Jean-Jacques Rousseau

6 Rousseau and Our Constructive Problem

Part II: Reaction and Authoritarianism

7 The Setting

8 Romanticism

9 Edmund Burke

10 Joseph de Maistre

11 Louis de Bonald

12 Auguste Comte

13 Georg W. F. Hegel

14 A Free Society and Its Relation to the State

Part III: Liberalism

15 The Problem of Industrial Society

16 Bentham's Utilitarianism

17 John Stuart Mill

18 Pierre-Paul Royer-Collard

19 Benjamin Constant

20 Italy and Mazzini

21 Historic Success and Failure

Part IV: Socialism

22 Robert Owen

23 Francois Fourier

24 Karl Marx



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