Faculty Book: Ruth O'Brien
Out of Many, One: Obama and the Third American Political Tradition
(University of Chicago Press, 2013)
Feared by conservatives and embraced by liberals when he entered the White House, Barack Obama has since been battered by criticism from both sides. In Out of Many, One, O’Brien explains why. We are accustomed to seeing politicians supporting either a minimalist state characterized by unfettered capitalism and individual rights or a relatively strong welfare state and regulatory capitalism. Obama, O’Brien argues, represents the values of a lesser-known third tradition in American political thought that defies the usual left-right categorization. Analyzing Obama’s major legislative victories—financial regulation, health care, and the stimulus package—the author shows how they reflect a stakeholder society that neither regulates in the manner of the New Deal nor deregulates. By establishing Obama within the context of a much longer and broader political tradition, this book sheds critical light on both the political and philosophical underpinnings of his presidency and a fundamental shift in American political thought. Ruth O’Brien (Prof., GC) serves on the doctoral faculty in political science.
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Submitted on: MAY 28, 2013