Faculty Book: John Brenkman
The Cultural Contradictions of Democracy: Political Thought since September 11
(Princeton University Press, 2007)
Looking back to the original assumptions and contradictions that animate democratic thought, John Brenkman attempts to resuscitate the language of liberty and give political debate a fresh basis amid the present global turmoil. He picks apart the intellectual design and messianic ambitions of the neoconservative American foreign policy articulated by figures such as Robert Kagan and Paul Berman; casts the same critical eye on a wide range of liberal and leftist thinkers, including Noam Chomsky and Jürgen Habermas; and probes the severe crisis that afflicts progressive political thought. He draws on the contrary visions of Hobbes, Kant, Max Weber, Hannah Arendt, and Isaiah Berlin in order to disclose the new contours of conflict in the age of geo-civil war, and to illuminate the challenges and risks of contemporary democracy. John Brenkman is a distinguished professor of comparative literature and English at Baruch College at the Graduate Center.
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Submitted on: JUL 2, 2007