Bernard-Henri Lévy's American Vertigo: Traveling America in the Footsteps of PDF

By Bernard-Henri Lévy

ISBN-10: 0307430626

ISBN-13: 9780307430625

What does it suggest to be an American, and what can the US be this day? to reply to those questions, celebrated thinker and journalist Bernard-Henri Lévy spent a 12 months touring in the course of the kingdom within the footsteps of one other nice Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville, whose Democracy in the United States is still the main influential publication ever written approximately our nation.

The result's American Vertigo, a desirable, absolutely clean examine a rustic we occasionally basically imagine we all know. From Rikers Island to Chicago mega-churches, from Muslim groups in Detroit to an Amish enclave in Iowa, Lévy investigates matters on the middle of our democracy: the exact nature of yank patriotism, the coexistence of freedom and faith (including the faith of baseball), the criminal approach, the “return of ideology” and the well-being of our political associations, and lots more and plenty extra. He revisits and updates Tocqueville’s most vital ideals, reminiscent of the risks posed through “the tyranny of the majority,” explores what Europe and the United States need to study from one another, and translates what he sees with a novelist’s eye and a philosopher’s intensity.

Through strong interview-based pictures around the spectrum of the yankee humans, from legal guards to monks, from Norman Mailer to Barack Obama, from Sharon Stone to Richard Holbrooke, Lévy fills his publication with a tapestry of yank voices–some clever, a few surprising. either the grandeur and the hellish dimensions of yankee lifestyles are unflinchingly explored. and massive subject matters emerge all through, from the an important offerings the US faces this day to the underlying fact that, in contrast to the “Old World,” the USA continues to be the success of the world’s wish to worship, earn, and reside as one wishes–a position, regardless of all, the place inclusion is still not only an incredible yet a precise practice.

At a time while american citizens are frightened approximately how the realm perceives them and, certainly, willing to make feel of themselves, a super and sympathetic international observer has arrived to assist us commence a brand new dialog in regards to the that means of the USA.

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Extra resources for American Vertigo: Traveling America in the Footsteps of Tocqueville

Sample text

Unlike con­ versation, however, the activity of deliberation is public not only i n the sense that the audience to which contributions are directed must remain unrestricted but also in the sense that the joint activity of de­ liberation must also be organized so that all citizens may take part in 34 Chapter 1 the activity and in so doing test and main tain its public ch:rracter. These conditions were not met in the case of the minority group dis­ cussed above. In the next two sections, I argue that only a richer description of the process of deliberation can explain the convincing character of public reasons.

L l Cohen 's list is di­ rectly concerned with the process of deliberation: deliberation ought to take argumentative form, as the exchange of reasons in light of available information, and must remain open to future revision . These conditions are ensured procedurally: through equal allocation of votes, equality of opportunity, and so on. Habermas's ideal speech situation supplies a similar list. However, even if these conditions are necessary for deliberative equality, they fail to specify when a reason is publicly convincing.

Led proponents of "realistic theories" of democracy, from Max Weber to Walter Lippmann, to speak of a "phantom public" that was to be re­ placed by s cien tific exp e rts an d pro fession al politicians. In this argu ­ ment, I reject Hab erm as s two-track solution to the problems of ' co mp lexity In its place , I develop a modified version of the familiar . "dualist" model of democracy, so that pop u lar s overe ignty is reinter­ prete d as the rule by deliberative majori ties formed out of the public 20 Introduction sph er e .

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American Vertigo: Traveling America in the Footsteps of Tocqueville by Bernard-Henri Lévy


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