Example of Traditional American Political Thought Syllabus (2011).
American Political Thought
PSC 700 Level
This seminar examines American political thought in historical perspective. It breaks this perspective down into the revolutionary; founding, civil war; populist; Social Darwinist; bourgeois individualist; progressive; industrial capitalist, New Deal; and identity politics periods. Original texts ranging from: James Madison’s Federalist Papers; John Dewey’s The Public and Its Problems; Malcolm X’s Autobiography to Gloria E. Anzaldua’s This Bridge Called my Back will be read. In addition, to concentrating on the standard interpretations of these texts, some radical interpretations will be emphasized, particularly black feminist thought. Also, the seminar gives more weight to the latter half of American political thought written about capitalism and identity politics in the late-19th and 20th centuries rather than the founding or the civil war eras in the 18th and early and mid-19th centuries.
1. Complete assigned readings before class. Before each seminar meets, students distribute an approximately 1-2 page written summary of the reading to stimulate discussions. This summary should be distributed no later than midnight the night before the seminar on Thursday at 2 p.m. These summaries, and classroom participation, will account for 25% of your final grade.
2. A mid-term; 10-15 page paper; and a final, which are each worth 25%.
Books to Consider Purchasing:
Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (any edition).
James Madison, John Jay and Alexander Hamilton Federalist Papers (any edition).
J.G.A. Pocock, The Machiavellian Moment, (Harvard University Press, 1975).
Alexis De Tocqueville, Democracy in America (Signet, 1954).
Louis Hartz, The Liberal Tradition in America (Harcourt, Brace, and World, Inc., 1955)
Abraham Lincoln, “Speeches and Writings, ed. Roy Basler (DeCapo Press, 2001, 1946)
William Graham Sumner, What Social Classes Owe to Each Other (any edition).
Walter Lippmann, The Phantom Public (Transaction Publishers, 1993).
John Dewey, The Public & Its Problems (Swallow Press, 1954).
Thorstein Veblen, The Theory of the Leisure Class (Dover Thrift).
Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals (Vintage, 1971).
William E. B. DuBois, The Soul of Black Folks (Signet Classic).
Malcolm X, The Autobiography of Malcolm X as Told to Alex Hayley (Penguin Books, 1973).
Gunnar Myrdal, An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and American Democracy (Harper & Row, 1944).
Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique (W.W. Norton, 2001).
Herbert Marcuse One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society (Beacon Press, 1991).
Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition (University of Chicago Press, 1998).
David R. Roediger, The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class (Verso, 1991).
Carol Gilligan, In a Different Voice (Harvard University Press, 1993).
Patricia Hill Collins, Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness and the Politics of Empowerment (Routledge, 2008, 1990).
Gloria Anzaldua’s This Bridge Called my Back The Gloria Anzaldua Reader (Duke University Press, 2009).
Reinhold Neibhur, The Irony of American History (University of Chicago Press, 2008).
All the articles mentioned can be found in the Mina Reese database source of Proquest
WEEKLY COURSE OVERVIEW
Feb 3-1. Introduction: What is American Political Thought?
Feb 10-2. Capitalism, Religion, & Colonial America (next time offer Ben Franklin too or here?) Theme 2 kinds of exceptionalism: religious toleration & liberalism
John Winthrop, “A Model of Christian Charity,” http://history.hanover.edu/texts/winthmod.html; Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (any edition), chps. Intro, Book I, chps 1-4; Book II, chp. 5
Perry Miller, The New England Mind: The Seventeenth Century (Harvard University Press, 1983).
James Morone, Hellfire Nation: The Politics of Sin in American History (Yale University Press, 2003).
Mark A. Peterson, “From Founding Fathers to Old- Boy Networks: The Declension of Perry Miller’s Puritans,” Reviews in American History 23 (1995): 13-19.
Feb 17-3. Revolution
Thomas Paine, Common Sense http://www.ushistory.org/paine/commonsense/index.htm; Ben Franklin, “The Way to Wealth,” 1758;
James Madison, “Property and Suffrage: Second Thoughts on the Constitutional Convention,” (1821)
Thomas Jefferson, “Notes on the State of Virginia, query xvii (religion) & Declaration of Independence.
Joyce Oldham Appleby, Inheriting the Revolution: The First Generation of Americans Harvard University Press, 2000).
Gordon Wood, The Radicalism of the American Revolution (Alfred Knopf, 1992).
David C. Hoffman, “Paine & Prejudice: Rhetorical Leadership through Perceptual Framing in Common Sense,” Rhetoric & Public Affairs 9.3 (2006) 373-410.
Michael Hardt, “Jefferson and Democracy,” American Quarterly 59 (2007): 41-78.
Stephen H. Browne, “The Circle of Our Felicities:” Thomas Jefferson’s First Inaugural Address and the Rhetoric of Nationhood,” Rhetoric & Public Affairs (2002): 409-38.
Jeremy Engels, “Democratic Alienation,” Rhetoric & Public Affairs 11 (2008): 471-81.
Gary B. Nash, The Unknown American Revolution: The Unruly Birth of Democracy and the Struggle to Create America (New York: Viking, 2005).
Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker, The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic (Boston: Beacon Press, 2000).
Feb 24-4. The Science of Government: Federalists & Republicanism
James Madison, John Jay and Alexander Hamilton Federalist Papers # 9, 10, 48, 49, 51, 57, 62, 63, 69.
James Madison, “Vices of the Political System of the United States” in The Mind of the Founder (Marvin Myer, ed.)
J.G.A. Pocock, The Machiavellian Moment, (Harvard University Press, 1975), chp. 5.
Jack N. Rakove, Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution (New York, 1996).
Garry Wills, Explaining America: The Federalist (Garden City, NY, 1981).
Gordon S. Wood, The Creation of the American Republic, 1776–1787 (Chapel Hill, NC, 1969 or Norton edition).
March 3-5. Democracy in America
Alexis De Tocqueville, Democracy in America (Signet classic, Richard Heffner ed. 1956), Book I, part I, 10-14; Book I Part II, 16-18; Book II, Part I, 26-30.
Louis Hartz. The Liberal Tradition in America (Harcourt, Brace, and World, Inc., 1955), Introduction.
Frederick Jackson Turner, “The Significance of the Frontier in American History,” delivered to the American Historical Association in 1893 at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. http://www.library.csi.cuny.edu/dept/history/lavender/frontierthesis.html
John Mack Faragher, “Frederick Jackson Turner, New Historian,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 30 (1999): 283-91.
James T. Kloppenberg, “In Retrospect: Louis Hartz’s The Liberal Tradition in America Reviews in American History 29 (2001) 460-76.
Rogers M. Smith, Civic Ideals Conflicting Views of Citizenship in U.S. History (Yale University Press, 1997).
March 10-6. Union & Self-Reliance & Slavery
Abraham Lincoln, “Speeches and Writings, ed. Roy Basler (DeCapo Press, 2001, 1946): “The War with Mexico,” 202-12; “The Repeal of the Missouri Compromise and the Propriety of its Restoration,” 283-323; “Fremont, Buchanan, and the Extension of Slavery,” 339-45; “Sectionalism,” 347-65; “A House Divided,” 372-81; “A Reply to Douglas,” 385-424; “First Debate at Ottawa, Illinois” 428-68; “Short Autobiography written for the Campaign,” 547-55; “Message to Congress, July 4, 1861,” 594-609; “Final Emancipation Proclamation, January 1, 1863,” 689-91; “Gettysburg Address,” 734: “Second Inaugural Address,” 792-93.
Sojourner Truth “Ain’t I a Woman?” http://www.feminist.com/resources/artspeech/genwom/sojour.htm
Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance 1841 http://usinfo.org/docs/democracy/14.htm
John Burt, “Lincoln’s Dred Scott: Contesting the Declaration of Independence,” American Literary History 21 (2009): 730-75.
James L. Huston, “Theory’s Failure: Malthusian Population Theory and the Project Demise of Slavery, Civil War History 55 (2009): 354-81.
Jay Grossman and Donald E. Pease, Reconstituting the American Renaissance: Emerson, Whitman and the Politics of Representation (Duke University Press, 2003).
March 17-7. Populism; Social Darwinism; & Bourgeois Individualism
Horatio Alger, Jr. Ragged Dick (1868) http://www.albany.edu/history/history316/RaggedDick-1.html;
William Graham Sumner What Social Classes Owe to Each Other
(Bibliobazar, 2007); Francis Galton, Hereditary Genuis, http://galton.org/ http://books.google.com/
Recommended Reading on Capitalism:
Martin Sklar, The Corporate Reconstruction of American Capitalism (Cambridge University Press, 1988).
Richard Hofstadter, The American Political Tradition and the Men Who Made It (Vintage, 1962).
Richard Hofstadter, The Age of Reform (Vintage, 1960).
Regina Gagnier, “The Law of Progress and the Ironies of Individualism in the 19th Century,” New Literary History 31 (2000): 315-36.
March 24-8. Democratic Progressivism & Pragmatism I
Walter Lippmann, The Phantom Public (Transaction Publishers, 1993), chps TBA.
John Dewey, The Public & Its Problems (Swallow Press, 1954), chps. 1,3,4, 5
Daniel T. Rodgers. Atlantic Crossings: Social Politics in a Progressive Age (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1998).
Eldon J. Eisenach, The Lost Promise of Progressivism (University of Kansas, 1994).
Robert H. Wiebe, The Search for Order, 1877-1920 (Hill & Wang, 1966).
March 31-9. In Class Midterm
April 7-10. Republican Progressivism II, Antimonopoly Capitalism & the New Deal
Louis Brandeis, Other People’s Money http://www.law.louisville.edu/library/collections/brandeis/node/191; Thorstein Veblen, The Theory of the Leisure Class (Dover Thrift) Chps 1, 4, 12
Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals (Vintage, 1971), xiii-62.
Gerald Berk, Louis D. Brandeis and the Making of Regulated Competition, 1900-1932 (Cambridge University Press, 2009).
Harry Chatten Boyte, “Seeds of a Different Politics,” The Good Society 12 (2003): 70-73.
Harold Meyerson, “Liberalism and Its Friends,” Dissent 56 (2009): 128-31.
Malcolm Rutherford, “Institutional Economies at Columbia University,” History of Political Economy 36 (2004): 31-78.
April 14-11. Identity Politics: Race
W.E.B. DuBois, The Soul of Black Folks (Signet Classic), I, II, IV, X, XIV
Malcolm X, The Autobiography of Malcolm X as Told to Alex Hayley (Penguin Books, 1973).
Gunnar Myrdal, An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and American Democracy (New York: Harper & Row, 1944), Introduction.
Recommended Reading on Race
John Pittman, African-American Perspectives and Philosophical Traditions (Routledge, 1996).
Carol A. Horton. Race and the Making of American Liberalism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), Introduction.
David A. Hollinger, Postethnic America: Beyond Multiculturalism (New York, 1995).
Mary Dudziak, Cold War Civil Rights: Race and the Image of American Democracy
(Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001).
No class April 21
Spring Break April 17-26
April 28-12. Identity Politics: Gender 1950s & 1960s
Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique (W.W. Norton, 2001), chps 1-3, 13-14.
Herbert Marcuse One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society (Beacon Press, 1991), chps 1, 6-8, 10.
Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition (University of Chicago Press, 1998), chps TBA.
Sabine Gurtler and Andrew F. Smith, “The Ethical Dimension of Work: A Feminist Perspective,” Hypatia 20 (2005): 119-34.
Katherine Adams, “At the Table with Arendt: Toward a Self-Interested Practice of Coalition Discourse,” 17 Hypatia (2002), 27.
May 5-13. Identity Politics & Intersectionality & Radical Frameworks:
David R. Roediger, The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class (London: Verso, 1991), chps 1, 4, 5 & 8.
Carol Gilligan, In a Different Voice (Harvard University Press, 1993), Intro, chps 1, 3.
Patricia Hill Collins, Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness and the Politics of Empowerment (Routledge: 1990, 2000, 2008), chps 1-5, & 12; and Gloria Anzaldua’s This Bridge Called my Back The Gloria Anzaldua Reader, (Duke University Press, 2009).
Seyla Benhabib, Situating the Self: Gender, Community, and Postmodernism in Contemporary Ethics, (Polity, 1992).
Eileen Boris, “On the Importance of Naming: Gender, Race, and the Writing of Policy History,” Journal of Policy History 17 (2005): 72-93.
Eric Arneson, “Up From Exclusion: Black and White Workers, Race, and the State of Labor History,” Reviews in American History 26 (1998): 146-74.
Charles Mills, “Ideal Theory” as Ideology,” Hypatia 20 (2005): 165-84.
May 12-14. Anti-Isolationism (Internationalism); and the Age of Empire?
Reinhold Neibhur, The Irony of American History (University of Chicago Press, 2008), chps. 1-4, 8.
Kevin Mattson, “Why We Should Be Reading Reinhold Niebuhr Now More Than Ever: Liberalism and the Future of American Political Thought,” The Good Society 14 (2005): 77-82.
David Brion Davis, “Reflections: Intellectual Trajectories: Why People Study What They Do,” Reviews in American History 37 (2009): 148-59.
Sandra M. Gustafson, “Histories of Democracy and Empire,”
American Quarterly 59 (2007): 107-33.
Susan K. Gillman, “The New, Newest Thing: Have American Studies Gone Imperial?”
American Literary History 17 (2005): 196-214.
Alonzo L. Hamby, “Is There No Democratic Left in America? Reflections on the Transformation of an Ideology,” Journal of Policy History, 15 (2003): 3-25.
May 19 (Reading Day)
May 26-15. In-Class 2 Hour Final