FREEDOM AND ORDER by Henry Steele Commager
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The resonances, full and meaningful reverberations, that come out of these related essays by the eminent Amherst historian are the result of his concern with the paradoxical relationship between private liberty and governmental order. Beginning with a long essay on the role played by the judiciary in the protection of individual rights, he builds in taut, forthright prose an explanation of the failure of all other responsible institutions to do their duty toward such a goal. Other studious attempts to explore eighteenth century political and intellectual life add to his case. Occasional pieces on the right to travel, red-baiting in the universities, the meaning of the presidential campaign debates on television, contribute toward one end: an explication of the American character and mind, its needs and necessities. Without political bias but with a moral grudge, Commager deals, too, with the myths surrounding the Yalta conference, America's ""classless"" society, and our nation's role in world politics. After painting a portrait of an innocent America, with unbounded optimism and zeal in both domestic and world affairs, in a last section consisting of four terse, important essays on America and Vietnam, Commager demonstrates the great need for the recognition of the moral values involved, and what this means in our history. Highly recommended.

Pub Date: Oct. 24th, 1966
Publisher: Braziller