American Political Thought Journal: Winter 2023 Issue
American Political Thought: A Journal of Ideas, Institutions, and Culture, has recently published its Winter 2023 issue, which includes pieces by JMC scholars Rita Koganzon, Benjamin Lynerd, Daniel Klinghard, Charles Zug, Nicholas Buccola, Susan McWilliams Barndt, and Caleb Henry.
>> Table of Contents <<
- “There Is No Such Thing as a Banned Book: Censorship, Authority, and the School Book Controversies of the 1970s,” Rita Koganzon
- “Emancipation, the Ager Publicus, and Black Political Thought,” Benjamin T. Lynerd
- “Anna Julia Cooper, Ida B. Wells, and the Jim Crow Public,” Daniel Henry
- “What Did Lincoln Mean to Say about Technology in His ‘Lecture on Discoveries and Inventions’?,” Daniel Klinghard
- “Thank God for the Deep State: Presidential Demagoguery and the ‘Unitary Executive’,” Charles U. Zug
- “Should You Be among Liberalism’s Discontents?,” Nicholas Buccola
- “Race and the Rhetoric of Resistance, Jeffrey B. Ferguson and Werner Sollors, eds.,” Kundai Chirindo
- “You Mean It or You Don’t: James Baldwin’s Radical Challenge, by Jamie McGhee and Adam Hollowell,” Susan McWilliams Barndt
- “Radical Conversion: Theorizing Catholic Citizenship in the American Liberal Tradition, by Christopher M. Duncan,” Caleb Henry
- “The Roots of American Individualism: Political Myth in the Age of Jackson, by Alex Zakaras,” David Brown
“There Is No Such Thing as a Banned Book: Censorship, Authority, and the School Book Controversies of the 1970s,” Rita Koganzon
“What accounts for the persistence of school book banning controversies in the United States? In Island Trees School District v. Pico (1982), the Supreme Court ruled that book removal violates children’s right to read, but school book challenges have only increased since then. I argue that Americans have been unable to put this controversy to rest because a misleading narrative of censorship framed the Pico case and has continued to frame the question since. That narrative depicted what is fundamentally a contest between competing adult authorities—educational professionals and parents—as instead a contest between children and adults. By reconstructing the development of this narrative by young adult authors and professional educators in the 1970s, I show that the invention of children’s “right to read” in this period sought to discredit the legitimate democratic authority of school boards over curricular decisions in a way that left the conflict simmering and unresolvable.”
Rita Koganzon is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Houston. Her research focuses on the themes of education, childhood, authority, and the family in historical and contemporary political thought, and her work has been published in the American Political Science Review, the Review of Politics, and the History of Education Quarterly, as well as in several edited volumes. She also contributes book reviews and essays to the Hedgehog Review, National Affairs, The Point, and the Chronicle of Higher Education, among others. Her first book, Liberal States, Authoritarian Families: Childhood and Education in Early Modern Thought, examines the justifications for authority over children from Jean Bodin to Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and explored how Locke and Rousseau departed from their absolutist predecessors by refusing to model the family on the state but nonetheless preserved authority over children within the family for the sake of the liberty of adults.
Professor Koganzon is a JMC faculty partner.
“Emancipation, the Ager Publicus, and Black Political Thought,” Benjamin T. Lynerd
“After the Civil War, Black newspapers, from the Loyal Georgian to the San Francisco Elevator, encouraged lawmakers to leverage public land as a means of emancipation. Drawing on neoclassical agrarian theories that link civil freedom to a wide distribution of property, African American writers made a case for treating tens of millions of acres—including abandoned plantations—as an ager publicus for the settlement of Black homesteads and the creation of free schools. Seen within a broader agenda centered on civil rights expansion, the land reform proposals of the Black press point to a distinctively republican understanding of freedom, encompassing the positive rights of both self-government and economic independence, which defied the late nineteenth-century rise of both laissez-faire liberalism and socialism within American political thought. These aspirations, moreover, provide a historically grounded benchmark by which to assess the achievements and setbacks of the postbellum era.”
Professor Lynerd is a JMC fellow.
“What Did Lincoln Mean to Say about Technology in His ‘Lecture on Discoveries and Inventions’?,” Daniel Klinghard
“Abraham Lincoln’s “Lecture on Discoveries and Inventions,” taken with his contemporaneous “Address to the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society,” presents a coherent view of the role of science in a democratic society. While often read either as a celebration of technology or as only a subtle condemnation of slavery, these speeches are best understood in the context of an antebellum divide between Whigs and Democrats about science and technology. Lincoln’s deft deployment of biblical language in “Discoveries and Inventions” suggests that he shared the Whig concern about the social effects of unconstrained technology.”
Daniel Klinghard is a Professor of Political Science and Co-Director of the Charles Carroll Program at the College of the Holy Cross. His areas of teaching include political parties and interest groups, race and ethnic politics, and American political development. His book, The Nationalization of American Political Parties, 1880-1896, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2010. He is presently engaged in research projects that explore, respectively, changes in American trade policy in the late nineteenth century, the role of technology in shaping party development, and Thomas Jefferson’s book, Notes on the State of Virginia. He has taught at the College of Charleston, Clark University, and Brandeis University.
Professor Klinghard is a JMC fellow.
“Thank God for the Deep State: Presidential Demagoguery and the ‘Unitary Executive’,” Charles U. Zug
“The idea of a unitary executive is based on a mistaken understanding of the origins and purpose of the federal bureaucracy in the American regime. Strictly speaking, there is no “executive branch” in our system—if by “executive branch” we mean a network of governmental departments that have their origins in, and that are strictly subordinate to, a unitary executive president. This mistake has manifested itself in two recent books examining the relationship between Donald Trump, the unitary executive, and the federal bureaucracy. Though each book offers a valuable critique of the Trump presidency, both books overlook the constitutional advantages of a relatively autonomous bureaucracy, one that is strictly answerable neither to Congress nor to the president. Drawing on classic work by Herbert Storing, I suggest that the federal bureaucracy advances authentic constitutional ends by, among other things, restraining and refining the excesses of a demagogic president.”
Charles Zug is an Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. Previously he taught at Williams College. Before earning his Ph.D. in Government at The University of Texas at Austin, he graduated from St. John’s College in Annapolis. His dissertation, “The Uses and Abuses of Demagoguery in American National Government,” argues for a descriptive theory of demagoguery through comparative case-studies of Constitutional officers in the three branches of American government. Zug’s scholarly work has been published in Critical Review, Interpretation, The Australian Journal of Politics & History, and Perspectives on Political Science. He has also written punditry on Constitutional issues for several publications, including The Washington Post and The Austin American-Statesman.
Professor Zug is a Jack Miller Center fellow.
“Should You Be among Liberalism’s Discontents?” Nicholas Buccola
“In this review essay, I consider two recent books that have something to say about liberalism. In Liberalism and Its Discontents, Francis Fukuyama offers a spirited defense of the doctrine. In Prophet of Discontent, Jared Anthony Loggins and Andrew Douglas engage the though of Martin Luther King Jr. in ways that encourage us to move “beyond” liberalism.”
Nicholas Buccola is the Elizabeth & Morris Glicksman Chair in Political Science at Linfield College. His teaching and research interests are in political theory and public law. Professor Buccola is the founding director of the Frederick Douglass Forum on Law, Rights, and Justice, a partner program in JMC’s Pacific Northwest Initiative, and has written extensively on the political thought of Frederick Douglass. He has published essays on a wide variety of topics including the debate over same-sex marriage, Friedrich Nietzsche’s critique of socialism, and the political philosophies of Judith Shklar and Leo Strauss. He is a recipient of the Allen and Pat Kelley Faculty Scholar Award, and a two-time recipient of the Samuel Graf Faculty Achievement Award. Professor Buccola is also the book review editor for the JMC supported journal, American Political Thought.
Professor Buccola is a JMC faculty partner.
“You Mean It or You Don’t: James Baldwin’s Radical Challenge, by Jamie McGhee and Adam Hollowell,” Susan McWilliams Barndt
Susan McWilliams Barndt reviews You Mean It or You Don’t by Jamie McGhee and Adam Hollowell, noting that it “is a book for the battle, a welcome gift to those who have been inspired by Baldwin’s art and want to dedicate themselves to achieving America.”
Susan McWilliams Barndt is a Professor of Politics and Coordinator of Public Policy Analysis at Pomona College. She is the co-editor of the peer-reviewed journal American Political Thought and the co-editor of the American Political Thought book series at the University Press of Kansas. She is the author of The American Road Trip and American Political Thought and Traveling Back: Toward a Global Political Theory. She has also edited several books, most recently A Political Companion to James Baldwin and The Best Kind of College: An Insiders’ Guide to America’s Small Liberal Arts Colleges (co-edited with John Seery). Her writing has been published widely, including in Boston Review, Bust, Front Porch Republic, The Nation, Perspectives on Political Science, Political Science Quarterly, The Review of Politics, and The Star-Ledger. McWilliams Barndt received her B.A. in Political Science and Russian from Amherst College and her M.A. and Ph.D. in politics from Princeton University.
Professor McWilliams Barndt is a JMC faculty partner.
“Radical Conversion: Theorizing Catholic Citizenship in the American Liberal Tradition, by Christopher M. Duncan,” Caleb Henry
Caleb Henry reviews Radical Conversion: Theorizing Catholic Citizenship in the American Liberal Tradition by Christopher M. Duncan, which he notes that “Duncan analyzes American and Catholic political thought, ultimately arguing that Catholic political thought can reorient and redefine concepts like equality and individualism, thereby strengthening liberal politics for America’s common good.”
Caleb Henry is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Seattle Pacific University. His research interests combine political theory and American political history. He is particularly interested in how Locke’s political theory has impacted and continues to impact American political thought. Dr. Henry’s graduate studies combined political theory and American politics and his SPU classes reflect those interests. He is a prelaw advisor and teaches several classes on American law. He also teaches classes on American institutions, public administration, and city planning. He has developed a Christianity and World Politics class which allows students to study the intersection of Christian theology and world politics.
Professor Henry is a JMC faculty partner.
American Political Thought: A Journal of Ideas, Institutions, and Culture is a JMC supported journal that bridges the gap between historical, empirical, and theoretical research. It is the only journal dedicated exclusively to the study of American political thought. Interdisciplinary in scope, APT features research by political scientists, historians, literary scholars, economists, and philosophers who study the foundation of the American political tradition. Research explores key political concepts such as democracy, constitutionalism, equality, liberty, citizenship, political identity, and the role of the state.
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