Harvard University Press, 2011 - 337 pagina's
Common sense has always been a cornerstone of American politics. In 1776, Tom Paine‚e(tm)s vital pamphlet with that title sparked the American Revolution. And today, common sense‚e"the wisdom of ordinary people, knowledge so self-evident that it is beyond debate‚e"remains a powerful political ideal, utilized alike by George W. Bush‚e(tm)s aw-shucks articulations and Barack Obama‚e(tm)s down-to-earth reasonableness. But far from self-evident is where our faith in common sense comes from and how its populist logic has shaped modern democracy. Common Sense: A Political History is the first book to explore this essential political phenomenon.
The story begins in the aftermath of England‚e(tm)s Glorious Revolution, when common sense first became a political ideal worth struggling over. Sophia Rosenfeld‚e(tm)s accessible and insightful account then wends its way across two continents and multiple centuries, revealing the remarkable individuals who appropriated the old, seemingly universal idea of common sense and the new strategic uses they made of it. Paine may have boasted that common sense is always on the side of the people and opposed to the rule of kings, but Rosenfeld demonstrates that common sense has been used to foster demagoguery and exclusivity as well as popular sovereignty. She provides a new account of the transatlantic Enlightenment and the Age of Revolutions, and offers a fresh reading on what the eighteenth century bequeathed to the political ferment of our own time. Far from commonsensical, the history of common sense turns out to be rife with paradox and surprise.
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Common Sense: A Political HistoryGebruikersrecensie - Book Verdict
We often hear politicians and pundits speak of "common sense." Now Rosenfeld (history, Univ. of Virginia; A Revolution in Language) insightfully traces the turns the phrase has taken since it came into use in 18th-century urban centers. She covers London, where Joseph Addison and Richard Steele offered common sense in The Spectator as a calming answer to conflicting opinion after the Glorious Revolution; Aberdeen, where a group of Presbyterians found a shared capacity to see waywardness in the skeptical thinkers of the Scottish Enlightenment; Amsterdam, where a circle of French writers used the term impiously to mock conventional wisdom; and Philadelphia, where Thomas Paine employed common sense as a means to bring down a government. Here, too, is Paris, where those against the Revolution used common sense to critique democracy. Rosenfeld treats the post-18th-century era more briefly in a final chapter. VERDICT Readers may only be disappointed that Rosenfeld does not cover recent times, most especially today's conservative purveyors of common sense. Her book is a model of how a fine work of history may enlighten readers about polemics without being a polemic itself. Rich, graceful, often witty, this is very highly recommended for academic and serious readers.óBob Nardini, Nashville
Review: Common Sense: A Political HistoryGebruikersrecensie - Goodreads
This is like the social history of truth, for common sense. What were the condtions that made common sense an important idea, and how did it then spread. Rosenfeld jumps back and forth across the ...