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Lincoln's Tragic Pragmatism : Lincoln, Douglas, and Moral Conflict - Reprint by John Burt (Paperback)

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A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice

In 1858, challenger Abraham Lincoln debated incumbent Stephen Douglas seven times in the race for a U.S. Senate seat from Illinois. More was at stake than slavery in those debates. In Lincoln’s Tragic Pragmatism, John Burt contends that the very legitimacy of democratic governance was on the line. In a United States stubbornly divided over ethical issues, the overarching question posed by the Lincoln-Douglas debates has not lost its urgency: Can a liberal political system be used to mediate moral disputes? And if it cannot, is violence inevitable?

“John Burt has written a work that every serious student of Lincoln will have to read...Burt refracts Lincoln through the philosophy of Kant, Rawls and contemporary liberal political theory. His is very much a Lincoln for our time.”—Steven B. Smith, New York Times Book Review

“I'm making space on my overstuffed shelves for Lincoln’s Tragic Pragmatism. This is a book I expect to be picking up and thumbing through for years to come.”—Jim Cullen, History News Network

“Burt treats the [Lincoln-Douglas] debates as being far more significant than an election contest between two candidates. The debates represent profound statements of political philosophy and speak to the continuing challenges the U.S. faces in resolving divisive moral conflicts.”—E. C. Sands, Choice

Edition: Reprint
Number of Pages: 832.0
Genre: History, Philosophy
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Harvard Univ Pr
Author: John Burt
Language: English
Street Date: June 11, 2018
TCIN: 53323967
UPC: 9780674983991
Item Number (DPCI): 248-14-5014

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