For a Kinder, Gentler Society
Equality, Liberty’s Lost Twin
A Short History of Ideas from Rousseau to Rawls
  • Kenneth Lawing Penegar
Reviews Table of Contents Introduction «Back
Equality, Liberty’s Lost Twin. A Short History of Ideas from Rousseau to Rawls
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Inequality seems to be the only topic under discussion today. But what do we actually mean by equality, and what did the American Founders have in mind?

This work is a history of ideas and at the same time a parallel study of social and political dimensions. The book should be of particular interest to public officials as well as commentators on contemporary issues and to educators at the college level.

Prof. Penegar presents a composite picture of both historic and contemporary understandings of the ideal of equality and of the policy initiatives undertaken to advance the ideal over the same expanse of time.


About the Author

In his distinguished career as a law professor and dean Kenneth Lawing Penegar’s principal areas of teaching and scholarship have been professional ethics, criminal law and jurisprudence. He has published major length articles in a variety of law reviews and journals; some of these have been reprinted as chapters of books on criminal law and ethics.

Penegar served on the faculties of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, the University of Tennessee (Dean for fifteen years), and Southern Methodist University (Dallas), where he holds emeritus status. Penegar received his education from the universities of North Carolina (Chapel Hill); Yale; and London (London School of Economics & Political Science).

Liberty's Lost Twin is his second book published by Algora. Prof. Penegar's first book with Algora, The Political Trial of Benjamin Franklin (2011), was researched during a yearlong residence in Britain using collections of documents and papers in libraries and archives including the British Library, London.

Other professional activities have included  appointments as visiting faculty at Delhi University (India) under a grant from the Ford Foundation; visiting faculty at Boston University; and a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School.

About the Book
What do we mean by equality, in America, and how are we doing? This book outlines both historic and contemporary understandings of the ideal of equality, and it presents the major policy initiatives undertaken to advance the ideal over the same...
What do we mean by equality, in America, and how are we doing? This book outlines both historic and contemporary understandings of the ideal of equality, and it presents the major policy initiatives undertaken to advance the ideal over the same expanse of time.

So much has been published in recent decades about inequality -- principally in economic terms -- that it seems timely to examine what it is that moves us to be concerned.

From Rousseau to Martin Luther King Jr., significant individuals who authored the ideas, crucially supported them, or carried them into public policy are identified in the context of the eras in which they were active.

The claim that we collectively care more about liberty than we do equality is implicit in the title of this book. Consider first that the Declaration of Independence claims that ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ are inalienable rights that stem from the endowment of reason. No mention of equality there, although a preceding phrase in the same paragraph does famously declare that we are ‘created equal.’

Consider, secondly, that one (if not the very first) negative response in contemporary American political debate to a proposed extension of public assistance or raising the minimum wage is the argument that it will reduce liberty. The suggestion is direct: extending the one will reduce the other. They are competitors. That’s the claim.

Prof. Penegar leads an insightful discussion of such commonly-held thoughts and investigates how accurate they are.


Table of Contents
Introduction 5 A Word about the Title 9 Chapter One: How Rousseau Became Our Guide 30 Chapter Two: Revolution 45 Enlightenment’s Reach 4
Introduction 5

A Word about the Title 9

Chapter One: How Rousseau Became Our Guide 30

Chapter Two: Revolution 45

Enlightenment’s Reach 45

America’s Conflict with Great Britain 48

The Content and Spirit of the Declaration 50

Inclusive or Exclusive Coverage? 53

Other Explanations for the Equality Clause 55

The French Experience in the Eighteenth Century 58

Legacies 62

Chapter Three: Reaction 71

Equality’s Shadow 71

Chapter Four: The Juggernaut of Commerce 83

Liberty’s Uncertain Landscape: Europe in the 1800s 97

Chapter Five: Anxiety for the Individual 105

J.S. Mill 105

Herbert Spencer 111

Chapter Six: Slavery’s Abolition 122

A Network of Volunteers 134

Uncle Tom’s Cabin 136

President Lincoln’s Proclamation 139

Chapter Seven: Reconstruction 146

Chapter Eight: Populism’s Challenge to Exploitive Business 155 

Chapter Nine: The Urban Soul of Progressivism 168 

Chapter Ten:The Citizenship of Women 177

Historic Antecedents 186

A Boost from Outside the Circle of Women 190

Relevant Parts of the Preamble and the Wording of Article 21: 194

Preamble 194

Article 21 195

Chapter Eleven: Social Mobilization Confronts the Great Depression 196

What would Rousseau think of the New Deal? 210 

Chapter Twelve: Domestic Innovation and the New International Cooperation in the Wake of World War II 213 

Chapter Thirteen: Cold War Divisions 231

Background 231

Civil Rights 239

EEOC: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 241

Health Care: Senior Citizens and (Some) Others 243

Education 245

Anti-poverty Programs 248

Chapter Fourteen: Philosophy Needs History 253


Reviews
Powerful, and gracefully written | More »
Pages 194
Year: 2020
BISAC: PHI009000 PHILOSOPHY / History & Surveys / General
BISAC: PHI019000 PHILOSOPHY / Political
Soft Cover
ISBN: 978-1-62894-422-8
Price: USD 21.95
Hard Cover
ISBN: 978-1-62894-423-5
Price: USD 31.95
eBook
ISBN: 978-1-62894-424-2
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