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Another Liberalism contributes an original perspective to debates about the nature and foundations of liberal thought. In it Nancy Rosenblum describes the dynamic of romanticism and liberalism as one of mutual opposition and reconciliation. She argues that romanticism sees liberalism as cold, contractual, and aloof. And conventional liberal legalism disdains romanticism's longing for all that is personal, unique, and expressive.
We learn, however, that romanticism, chastened by its excesses and frustrated by its failures, can "come home" to liberalism. We also learn that liberalism can accommodate individuality and expressivity, reclaiming what it had repressed. Rosenblum creates a typology of romantic reconstructions of liberal thought: heroic individualism, communitarianism, and a new face of pluralism.
The author draws on nineteenth--and twentieth--century philosophy and literature: on Thoreau, Humboldt, Constant, Stendhal, and Mill, among others, and on contemporary political theorists for whom romanticism is a source not only of aversion to liberalism but also of resources for reform.
Nancy Rosenblum offers a fascinating exploration of romantic thought that is, at one and the same time, a discussion within the liberal tradition as well as a proclaimed alternative to that tradition. All students of political thought will find her book illuminating, provocative, and wise.
Nancy Rosenblum challenges conventional liberalism with a rich romantic tradition, drawn from an impressive range of literature and philosophy. Liberalism lives up to the challenge by absorbing--and tempering--romantic longings for self expression and spontaneity. The result is an admirably clear and original defense of liberal pluralism, a pluralism that promises not harmony between individual and community but relief from the excesses of both private and public absorption.
This is a rich, imaginative book. With tact and learning, Rosenblum shows that liberalism has a lot to learn from different and sometimes hostile tendencies of thought. She also brings out that it has a lot to teach, in return. The discussion of the ties and tensions between liberalism and romanticism is especially striking. She has written a resourceful and enormously instructive work.
A highly original work--beautifully written, brimming with insights, and a real pleasure to read…A major contribution to the debate about the nature and origins of liberalism. The book is a small feast!
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