By James Q. Wilson

ISBN-10: 0844743194

ISBN-13: 9780844743196

James Q. Wilson is one in all America's preeminent public coverage students. for many years, he has analyzed the altering political and cultural panorama with readability and honesty, bringing his knowledge to undergo on all aspects of yank executive and society. this can be a selection of fifteen of Wilson's such a lot insightful essays-drawing on thirty years of his observations on faith, crime, the media, terrorism and extremism, and the old fashioned proposal of "character." Readers of each political persuasion will come clear of this quantity with a brand new knowing of the way American politics and tradition have developed over the past half-century. those essays aren't "the grumpy phrases of a conservative who cannot be reconciled to the realities of up to date American life," Wilson writes. quite, they're instantly speak from a painstaking empiricist and consummate social scientist who believes in American exceptionalism. American Politics, Then & now could be a compelling portrait of a cherished kingdom.

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Schorr proposed instead a system of children’s allowances and improved social security coverage, but he did not dissent from the view that the only thing wrong with poor people was that they did not have enough money and the conviction that they had a “right” to enough. Tobin was quick to point out that he and Schorr were on the same side, differing only in minor details. A central assumption of economics is that “tastes” (which include what noneconomists would call values and beliefs, as well as interests) can be taken as given and are not problematic.

Abortion, gun control, gay rights, nuclear energy, affirmative action—all these issues and more make life miserable for the traditional, coalition-seeking politician. Weakened institutions, individualized politics, and the rise of an educated, idea-oriented public combine to make it highly advantageous for political entrepreneurs to identify and mobilize single-issue constituencies and to enlist them, not only into electoral and legislative politics, but into court suits, referendum campaigns, and even calls for constitutional conventions.

Besides, who would stay in Washington during the summer before air conditioning had been invented? Now, governing is a profession, the government plays a large role, and issues tend to pile up, one atop the other, in a network of multiple and profound ideological cleavages. Whether one describes as “fundamental” the changes in institutions and ideas that have accompanied the rise of modern government is in part a matter of style. Yet one must be impressed by the change in the dominant ethos of the times.

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American politics, then and now and other essays by James Q. Wilson

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