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Natural Rights Republic

The Natural Rights Republic

Studies in the Foundation of the American Political Tradition

Michael P. Zuckert

In The Natural Rights Republic, renowned political theorist Michael P. Zuckert examines the natural rights philosophy as expressed in sources like the Declaration of Independence and aims to counter contemporary confusion by offering an insightful study of the concept that dominated the mindset of the founding generation of the United States.

ISBN: 978-0-268-01480-3
312 pages
Publication Year: 1996

“. . . highly intelligent and thoughtful. . . . There is much to praise in this book.” — International Studies in Philosophy

“[T]his book will likely come to be regarded as a magisterial treatment of the spiritual and theoretical underpinnings of the American founding. It should be read especially by those American Christians inclined to see their country’s founding principles as more Christian than they actually were.” — Calvin Theological Journal

“In this important and engaging book . . . politicial theorist Michael P. Zuckert explores the central significance of the natural rights philosophy to the era of the American Revolution.” — American Historical Review

“[I]f a ‘real’ American is one who reasons exclusively from natural rights, then all ‘real’ Americans must presumably disavow utilitarianism and perhaps Kantianism as well—a provocative thesis to say the least. A broad implication of this book is that American political theory (from Jefferson up to Rawls and Nozick) is most essentially a history of attempts to articulate what it means to be an American. Zuckert nicely explains why natural rights figure so prominently in this history.” — Ethics

“Zuckert’s book is a powerful exposition of the most central political principles of [the American] founding. Its elegant articulation of its own thesis, together with its insightful analysis and critique of a wide variety of alternative views, makes it an extremely important contribution to debates on our national origins, which all serious students of the founding and of liberalism will have to confront.” —_First Things_

“Erudite, cogently argued, and beautifully written.” — Choice

“[Zuckert’s] arguments are clear, accessible, and make effective use of some fascinating historical documents. . . [I]t offers an interesting and valuable historical context for the analysis of natural rights and their role in political society.” — Comptes rendus philosophiques (Philosophy in Review)

“This study commands attention and stimulates disagreement.” — Journal of American Studies

The Natural Rights Republic contains many provocative ideas. . . . Anyone who reads [Zuckert’s] book will learn much of value about the natural rights tradition in America.” — International Journal of the Classical Tradition

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The Natural Rights Republic

Studies in the Foundation of the American Political Tradition

Michael P. Zuckert

The Natural Rights Republic: Studies in the Foundation of the American Political Tradition
Cloth Edition
Paper Edition

In The Natural Rights Republic, renowned political theorist Michael P. Zuckert examines the natural rights philosophy as expressed in sources like the Declaration of Independence and aims to counter contemporary confusion by offering an insightful study of the concept that dominated the mindset of the founding generation of the United States.

ISBN: 978-0-268-01480-3

312 pages

“. . . highly intelligent and thoughtful. . . . There is much to praise in this book.” — International Studies in Philosophy

“[T]his book will likely come to be regarded as a magisterial treatment of the spiritual and theoretical underpinnings of the American founding. It should be read especially by those American Christians inclined to see their country’s founding principles as more Christian than they actually were.” — Calvin Theological Journal

“In this important and engaging book . . . politicial theorist Michael P. Zuckert explores the central significance of the natural rights philosophy to the era of the American Revolution.” — American Historical Review

“[I]f a ‘real’ American is one who reasons exclusively from natural rights, then all ‘real’ Americans must presumably disavow utilitarianism and perhaps Kantianism as well—a provocative thesis to say the least. A broad implication of this book is that American political theory (from Jefferson up to Rawls and Nozick) is most essentially a history of attempts to articulate what it means to be an American. Zuckert nicely explains why natural rights figure so prominently in this history.” — Ethics

“Zuckert’s book is a powerful exposition of the most central political principles of [the American] founding. Its elegant articulation of its own thesis, together with its insightful analysis and critique of a wide variety of alternative views, makes it an extremely important contribution to debates on our national origins, which all serious students of the founding and of liberalism will have to confront.” —_First Things_

“Erudite, cogently argued, and beautifully written.” — Choice

“[Zuckert’s] arguments are clear, accessible, and make effective use of some fascinating historical documents. . . [I]t offers an interesting and valuable historical context for the analysis of natural rights and their role in political society.” — Comptes rendus philosophiques (Philosophy in Review)

“This study commands attention and stimulates disagreement.” — Journal of American Studies

The Natural Rights Republic contains many provocative ideas. . . . Anyone who reads [Zuckert’s] book will learn much of value about the natural rights tradition in America.” — International Journal of the Classical Tradition

Frank M. Covey, Jr., Loyola Lectures in Political Analysis

A Choice Outstanding Academic Book of 1997