Public Matters: Politics, Policy, and Religion in the 21st Century

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9780742549807: Public Matters: Politics, Policy, and Religion in the 21st Century
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After preparing to lead a quiet life as a teacher and scholar of political theory, William Galston has spent the past quarter century crossing the boundaries between academia and public life, including a two-year stint as Deputy Assistant for Domestic Policy under President Clinton. Reflecting these boundary-crossings, Public Matters contains a selection of Galston's essays on politics, policy, and religion. Each is viewed through the prisms of history, theory, and ethical concerns. The essays on politics tell the story of Galston's efforts to help redirect the Democratic Party so that it speaks more clearly to the concerns of 21st century Americans. The essays in the policy section reflect the range of issues with which Galston has grappled as a political activist and public official. Finally, the essays on religion try to come to grips with the challenges that religion, taken seriously (as it should be) poses for the governance of constitutional democracies.

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About the Author:

William A. Galston is director of the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy, Saul I. Stern Professor of Civic Engagement at the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, and director of the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement (CIRCLE). Galston is the author of five books and nearly one hundred articles in moral and political theory, American politics, and public policy.

Review:

"William Galston is a unique and indispensable voice, because he's a first-rate political theorist who is also active in the political arena. In this book he offers illuminating and wise comments on a wide range of topics ― the rise of New Democrats, the 2004 elections, preemptive war, the role of religion, and human embryo research. Written with style and panache, Public Matters is highly instructive ― and also a lot of fun." (Cass Sunstein, University of Chicago Law School)

An excellent introduction to Galston's thinking on divisive policy questions (stem-cell research, the war in Iraq), the role of religion in public life, and the future of the Democratic Party. (Commonweal Magazine)

There is no better example in America today of someone who is both a practical politician and a serious moral thinker than William Galston. His reflections on subjects from domestic politics to war and peace deserve the widest possible audience. (Alan Wolfe, Director of the Boisi Center for Religion & American Public Life at Boston College)

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