This is the third and final volume in the series on American political thought edited by Ronald J. Pestritto and Thomas G. West. The book addresses how the major themes in American political thought_identified in the first two books of the series_have played out in the world of modern American politics. The first volume focused on the founding era, and examined the prevalence of social-compact theory among the founders and implications of that theory for the design of American institutions. The second volume examined the major challenges that nineteenth-century thought posed to the political ideas of the founding, and suggested that these challenges created tensions that would significantly affect the development of American politics in the twentieth century and beyond. In Modern America and the Legacy of the Founding, the authors address these fundamental tensions: how does modern America resolve the inherent conflict between the original constitutional order and the challenges posed by modern liberalism? The authors look at the contemporary effects of this fundamental tension on questions of foreign policy and domestic policy, and on questions of our national political institutions and the ideas that shape them today.
Ronald J. Pestritto is dean of the Graduate School of Statesmanship at Hillsdale College, and he holds the Charles and Lucia Shipley Chair in the American Constitution. He serves as a senior fellow of the College’s Kirby Center and is also a senior fellow of the Claremont Institute. He earned his B.A. from Claremont McKenna College, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in government from the Claremont Graduate University. Dr. Pestritto is the author of Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism, the editor of Woodrow Wilson: The Essential Political Writings, and the co-editor of American Progressivism: A Reader.
Dr. Thomas G. West is the prestigious and current Paul Ermine and Dawn Tibbetts Potter endowed professor in politics at Hillsdale College.
West is a Director and Senior Fellow of the Claremont Institute, which has supported and publicized his research. Born in 1945, Dr. West received his B.A. from Cornell University in 1967 and his Ph.D from Claremont Graduate University in 1974.
He served in the Vietnam War as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army in 1969-70. He was Bradley Resident Scholar at the Heritage Foundation in 1988-89, and Salvatori Visiting Scholar at Claremont McKenna College from 1990-92.
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