American Political Cultures

Richard J. Ellis
This work challenges the thesis first formulated by de Tocqueville and later systematically developed by Louis Hartz, that American political culture is characterized by a consensus on liberal capitalist values. Ranging over three hundred years of history and drawing upon the seminal work anthropologist Mary Douglas, Richard Ellis demonstrates that American history is best understood as a contest between five rival political cultures: egalitarian community, competitive individualism, hierarchical collectivism, atomized fatalism, and autonomous hermitude.

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