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The Lovers'Quarrel: The Two Foundings and American Political Development Hardcover – 7 Aug 2014


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In this remarkable book, Elvin Lim rethinks American political history as an endless debate between two intertwined positions: power to the national government versus power to the states, effective administration versus rising democracy, federalism versus anti-federalism. The Lovers' Quarrel is powerful, elegant, meticulous, sweeping, brilliant, optimistic, and altogether exciting. It should be required reading for political historians, political theorists, and any reader interested in understanding the American past, its present and its future. (James A. Morone, author of The Democratic Wish, Hellfire Nation, and The Devils We Know)

By probing the ways Americans' deep but conflicting commitments to decentralization and nationalism have shaped American political development and American political thought, Elvin Lim provides stimulating insights that will spark valuable debates and shape future scholarship. (Rogers M. Smith, Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania)

Elvin Lim's The Lovers' Quarrel is a very important book because he has self-consciously and comprehensively sought to integrate the two fields of American Political Thought and American Political Development, both of which have attained a level of maturity, but which have proceeded in ignorance of, or at least by largely ignoring, each other. After Lim, this should no longer be possible. (Michael Zuckert, Editor-in-Chief, American Political Thought)

There is a Renaissance in federalism studies and Elvin Lim has made a singular contribution to it by reviving a serious analysis of the Anti-Federalists and their tradition (as well as much more). This is a compelling and important book which should be read by all scholars of federalism and American political theory. (Malcolm Feeley, Claire Sanders Clements Dean's Professor, Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program, Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California at Berkeley)

About the Author

Assistant Professor of Political Science, Wesleyan University; author of The Anti-Intellectual Presidency (OUP, 2008)

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Amazon.com: 2 reviews
Innovative Work American Political Thought 16 Mar. 2015
By H. Lee Cheek, Jr., Ph.D. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
In this engaging and innovative approach to American political development and thought, Lim (Wesleyan University) affirms the “inner logic” (xv) of American politics. Accordingly, the greatest disputes occur over the nature of the union. The book is an explication of the two “loves,” the interconnected tension and viability of the two foundings of the American republic: 1776 and 1787-1789. The ensuing political tensions are closely associated with the two loves, especially over whether the constitution is a restrictive or empowering document. The two sources of tension are critiqued in the course of a historical survey that includes the generation after the founders, Jefferson and Jackson and Calhoun, the sectional crisis, the progressives, the New Deal, and the “New Federalism.” In depicting Washington as a proponent of an energetic presidency, and Thomas Jefferson as the original Antifederalist, the book’s theme is imaginatively affirmed, yet the author’s suggestion that Antifederalists were “presidentialists” is misleading. The connection of Jefferson and Jackson is more convincing and advances existing knowledge, but the attempt to diminish the theoretical symmetry between Madison and Calhoun is problematic. For Lim, the sectional crisis assumes a struggle between two versions of “democratic sovereignty” (p. 80). The fifth chapter unconvincingly links the Antifederalists to the Progressives, although subsequent chapters and the overall volume constitute an exemplary contribution to the scholarship of the American regime.

H. Lee Cheek, Jr., Ph.D.
Dean and Professor of Political Science
East Georgia State College
www.drleecheek.net
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By Straussed-out - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
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