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Progressive Challenges to the American Constitution
A New Republic


Bradley C. S. Watson, William Schambra, Sidney M. Milkis, James W. Ceaser, Wilfred M. McClay, John Marini, Ronald J. Pestritto, James R. Stoner, Jr, Jean M. Yarbrough, Johnathan O'Neill, Charles R. Kesler, Eric R. Claeys
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  • Date Published: June 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107094376

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About the Authors
  • In this volume, Bradley C. S. Watson brings together the leading scholars who have sparked one of the most important intellectual and political movements of our times: the criticism of the progressive intellectual synthesis that has dominated American thought and politics over much of the last century, and has provided the framework in which the administrative state has expanded and flourished. The contributors address the most important questions raised by this movement: what is the meaning of progressivism? What is the nature of the Founders' Constitution and the progressive challenges to it? What is the significance of recent scholarship and public opinion that have arisen in opposition to the progressive vision? What are the implications of American progressivism for twenty-first century politics and policy? Progressive Challenges to the American Constitution addresses the growing doubt about the scope and sustainability of expanded government power.

    • A major contribution to the scholarly literature on progressivism, and will have an enduring impact on the conversation about America's constitutional origins and direction
    • Extraordinarily integrated and cohesive, so it can be read as a unified book rather than a collection of essays
    • Designed to be a 'go-to' volume of the leading scholars in the field, incorporating a vast range of discussions on the topic
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'If you are a professor of American politics, this is a book you should assign your students. It treats both philosophic ideas and practical politics and clearly shows the connection between them. The volume includes an excellent slate of articles by leading scholars on progressivism, including John Marini and Ronald J. Pestritto. It is worth its weight in gold.' Colleen Sheehan, Villanova University, Pennsylvania

    'This fine collection of insightful and accessible essays will help academics and educated general readers alike understand the political philosophy of American Progressivism and how it breaks from the Founders' natural rights republicanism.' Vincent Phillip Munoz, University of Notre Dame, Indiana

    'This book is an exceptionally thoughtful and engaging collection of essays, indeed the best I have seen on this subject. Students across a wide range of subjects, in political science, law, and history alike will profit from engaging the book's diverse disciplinary appeal.' Michael Uhlmann, Claremont Graduate University, California

    'No one familiar with the scope of the federal government and the operation of local governments will fail to stand aghast at the abyss that separates the workings of the American polity today from what the Founding Fathers intended. There is no better way to discover how this radical transformation was effected than to read the many fine contributions to this path-breaking book.' Paul A. Rahe, Hillsdale College, Michigan

    'A thoughtful, informative, and provocative volume that provides a critical understanding of the origins, evolution, and consequences of the progressive view of our founding document. Summing Up: Highly recommended.' P. J. Galie, Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107094376
    • length: 304 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.6kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction. A living thing: the progressive challenge to the American constitutional order Bradley C. S. Watson
    Part I. Contested Constitutionalism and the Election of 1912:
    1. The problem of democracy: recovering the Constitution from the progressives William Schambra
    2. Theodore Roosevelt, the Progressive Party, and the ascendance of the living Constitution Sidney M. Milkis
    Part II. The Political Philosophy of Progressivism:
    3. Progressivism and the Doctrine of Natural Rights James W. Ceaser
    4. John Dewey and the dilemma of progressive democracy Wilfred M. McClay
    Part III. The Political Theory of the Progressive State:
    5. Progressivism, the social sciences, and the rational state John Marini
    6. Making the state into a god: American progressivism and the social Gospel Ronald J. Pestritto
    7. Progressivism, social science, and Catholic social teaching in the building of the American welfare state James R. Stoner, Jr
    Part IV. The Progressive Presidency:
    8. The promise of the new nationalism and its challenge to the framers Jean M. Yarbrough
    9. William Howard Taft and the constitutionalist presidency in the progressive era Johnathan O'Neill
    10. Woodrow Wilson and the statesmanship of progress Charles R. Kesler
    Part V. The Supreme Court, Congress, and the Future of the Constitution:
    11. One supreme court: Oliver Wendell Holmes, Louis Brandeis, and the progressive revolution in constitutional jurisprudence Bradley C. S. Watson
    12. Regulations from the executive in need of scrutiny: the REINS Act and the art of teaching constitutionalism by legislation Eric R. Claeys.

  • Editor

    Bradley C. S. Watson, St Vincent College, Pennsylvania
    Bradley C. S. Watson is Professor of Politics at Saint Vincent College, Pennsylvania, where he holds the Philip M. McKenna Chair in American and Western Political Thought. Watson has contributed to various journals and authored many books, including Living Constitution, Dying Faith (2009), Civic Education and Culture (2005), The Idea of the American University (2011), and The West at War (2006).


    Bradley C. S. Watson, William Schambra, Sidney M. Milkis, James W. Ceaser, Wilfred M. McClay, John Marini, Ronald J. Pestritto, James R. Stoner, Jr, Jean M. Yarbrough, Johnathan O'Neill, Charles R. Kesler, Eric R. Claeys

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