Edward Shils was one of the leading intellectual defenders of freedom in the twentieth century. In these nine essays, he explores the importance of civility and tradition to a free society. The essays’ significance is enormous, for Shils was one of the first and assuredly one of the most courageous writers to examine the nature of civility and civil society and their relation to a free, ordered, liberal democratic society.
By 1989, when Michael Oakeshott’s Voice of Liberal Learning was first published by Yale University Press, books that held a negative view of education in the United States had garnered a remarkable amount of attention.
The debates between Daniel Webster of Massachusetts and Robert Hayne of South Carolina gave fateful utterance to the differing understandings of the nature of the American Union that had come to predominate in the North and the South by 1830.
Fisher Ames was a leading New England Federalist and sublime critic of Jacobin Democracy and the French Revolution. During the presidency of George Washington, he was the leader of his party in the House of Representatives. Ames was active in public life from 1787 through 1807 and was instrumental in one drafting of the First Amendment to the Constitution. His witty, often brilliant, letters, speeches, and essays offered a sustained defense of conservative principles and insight into the Federalist theory of government.
The questions of where to locate, in whose hands to place, and how to exercise the state’s powers of deadly military force inform a perennial topic in political theory and coalesce into a recurrent problem in political practice. Liberty Fund presents Writings on Standing Armies, a newly collected, authoritative edition of the most important pamphlets on the “standing armies” controversy of 1697–98. In addition, these writings express a subtext that is of equal and enduring importance: the transforming effects exerted by the prolonged possession of power on individuals and administrations.