The Forum and the Tower: How Scholars and Politicians Have Imagined the World, from Plato to Eleanor Roosevelt

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9780199782451: The Forum and the Tower: How Scholars and Politicians Have Imagined the World, from Plato to Eleanor Roosevelt

As Mary Ann Glendon writes in this fascinating new book, the relationship between politics and the academy has been fraught with tension and regret-and the occasional brilliant success-since Plato himself.

In The Forum and the Tower, Glendon examines thinkers who have collaborated with leaders, from ancient Syracuse to the modern White House, in a series of brisk portraits that explore the meeting of theory and reality. Glendon discusses a roster of great names, from Edmund Burke to Alexis de Tocqueville, Machiavelli to Rousseau, John Locke to Max Weber, down to Charles Malik, who helped Eleanor Roosevelt draft the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. With each, she explores the eternal questions they faced, including: Is politics such a dirty business that I shouldn't get involved? Will I betray my principles by pursuing public office? Can I make a difference, or will my efforts be wasted? Even the most politically successful intellectuals, she notes, did not all end happily. The brilliant Marcus Tullius Cicero, for example, reached the height of power in the late Roman Republic, then fell victim to intrigue, assassinated at Mark Antony's order. Yet others had a lasting impact. The legal scholar Tribonian helped Byzantine Emperor Justinian I craft the Corpus Juris Civilis, which became a bedrock of Western law. Portalis and Napoleon emulated them, creating the civil code that the French emperor regarded as his greatest legacy.

Formerly ambassador to the Vatican and an eminent legal scholar, Glendon knows these questions personally. Here she brings experience and expertise to bear in a timely, and timeless, study.

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About the Author:


Mary Ann Glendon is Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and is a former United States Ambassador to the Vatican. Her books include Rights Talk: The Impoverishment of Political Discourse, A Nation Under Lawyers, and A World Made New: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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"This is a book enjoyable to read and easy to recommend."--The Thomist


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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2011. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. The Forum and the Tower tackles a fascinating and perennial topic: the relationship between the academy and the world of politics. For all the talk about the remoteness of ivory tower ideas from the real world, it is the case that ideas do in fact have consequences. In recent US history, the careers of Henry Kissinger and Daniel Patrick Moynihan illustrate how ideas drive politics. Oftentimes the translations of ideas into action results in severe distortions of their original meaning, but the relationship between ideas and revolutionary political and social change is a constant. The accomplished Harvard law professor Mary Ann Glendon traces this crucial relationship from Greek times, taking readers through the Roman Empire, Renaissance Italy, the English revolution, the Federalist era in the US, the French Revolution, the Napoleonic wars, the Concert of Europe, the progressive era, and the New Deal/World War II era. Her aim is to utilize history to show how intellectuals and politicians can work productively. That has in fact happened in recent times: the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights was the product of a team of philosophers and political theorists working alongside Eleanor Roosevelt. That declaration has had a lasting and positive effect on world politics, revolutionizing the terms of the discussion and setting new benchmarks for states to follow. She closes with a consideration of intellectuals in American politics in more recent times. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780199782451

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