George Carey begins this essay by saying that "American political thought" is difficult to define. Maintaining this attitude, he avoids a number of common pitfalls in the study and exegesis of political writings and ideas throughout our nation's history.
Chief of these is the pernicious idea that the Founding Fathers were unanimous on matters of policy and religion, and that they built the Constitution on orthodox Christian ideals. Carey is objective, showing how American political thought has been shaped by liberal and conservative principles, historical ideas and philosophies, and practical exigencies.
Many students will be familiar with some of the content, but Carey introduces names and ideas unknown to non-specialists. This essay won't make you a specialist, but it will help students understand a topic often obscured by ideology and empty rhetoric.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here
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