"A monumental new reflection on American conservatism and the Founders' political tradition. For more than four decades, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist George F. Will has attempted to discern the principles of the Western political tradition and apply them to America's civic life. Today, the stakes could hardly be higher. Vital questions about the nature of man, of rights, of equality, of majority rule are bubbling just beneath the surface of daily events in America. The Founders' vision, articulated first in the Declaration of Independence and carried out in the Constitution, gave the new republic a framework for government unique in world history. Their beliefs in natural rights, limited government, religious freedom, and in human virtue and dignity ushered in two centuries of American prosperity. Now, as Will shows, America has become an administrative state, while destructive trends have overtaken family life and higher education. Semi-autonomous executive agencies wield essentially unaccountable power. Congress has failed in its duty to exercise its legislative powers. And the executive branch has slipped the Constitution's leash. In the intellectual battle between the vision of Founding Fathers like James Madison, who advanced the notion of natural rights that pre-exist government, and the progressivism advanced by Woodrow Wilson, the Founders have been losing. It's time to reverse America's political fortunes. Expansive, intellectually thrilling, and written with the erudite wit that has made Will beloved by millions of readers, The Conservative Sensibility is an extraordinary new book from one of America's most celebrated political writers"--Dust jacket.
The founders' epistemological assertion : they knew what can be known -- The progressives' revision : an emancipation (from natural rights) proclamation -- Progressivism's institutional consequences : the presidency triumphant, the administrative state rampant, Congress dormant -- The judicial supervision of democracy : difficulties with the "counter-majoritarian difficulty" -- Political economy : rescuing the great enrichment from the fatal conceit -- Culture and opportunity : the scissors that shredded old convictions -- The aims of education : talents for praising and for pessimism -- Going abroad : a creedal nation in a world on probation -- Welcoming whirl : conservatism without theism -- Borne back : the quest for a useable past
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