The Transformation of the American Democratic Republic
This stimulating volume considers whether the Founding Fathers’ vision of the American democratic republic has been transformed and if so, in what ways. Krason looks to the basic principles of the Founding Fathers, then discusses changes that resulted from evolving contemporary attitudes about and approaches to government. He considers how contemporary law and public policy might be reshaped in accordance with the religious principles and cultural norms of the eighteenth century and earlier.
Krason’s exploration of the possibilities of restoration is fashioned with reference to philosophical principles and the thought of great Western political thinkers. He offers a variety of modest proposals that could begin to forge a foundation for restoration. His analysis proceeds with full awareness that the American political order grew out of a heritage rather than being invented.
It is evident that any attempt to revive the Founders’ thinking about the principles and conditions necessary to sustain a democratic republic must start in the public sphere. Krason focuses on concerned, public-spirited citizens who are aware of the extent to which our current political structures deviate from the vision of the Founders, and who see this as a problem and want to do something about it. Ultimately, a democratic republic can exist, be sustained, and flourish only when there is a deep commitment to it in the minds and norms of its people. The great experiment that the United States represents is explored in brilliant historical terms by a foremost writer in the field of US Constitutional law.
“In The Transformation of the American Democratic Republic, Krason demonstrates a masterly command of the facts of American history and of many complementary academic disciplines used to interpret that empirical reality… His accounting of American history is presented as humanely possible and the educated reader can easily disentangle interpretation from the mere facts of the matter.”
—Joseph A. Varacalli, Catholicleague.org
“The Transformation of the American Democratic Republic is an impressive and scholarly study by distinguished political scientist Dr. Stephen Krason. . . . With a masterful command of historical material, the author pinpoints the eras which saw an accelerated decline of American political and cultural life and he positively asserts that Catholics applying Catholic Social doctrine can have a special role in helping to restore the American Republic. A superb political and cultural analysis, it is highly recommended.”
—James Likoudis, Lay Witness
“Krason’s The Transformation of the American Democratic Republic is a valuable account of how the American political system has declined . . . Krason has not written a polemic, but a serious and well-documented analysis of the cultural roots of our political problems. This book is in the tradition of Tocqueville and Orestes Brownson and needs to be given careful study.”
—Dr. Ryan J. Barilleaux, Miami University, Ohio
“Krason offers a thorough and objective account of American history from the Founding to the present day. Documenting the transformation of the American democratic republic from the perspective of constitutional law, political theory, and political sociology, he presents a compelling and provocative argument regarding the causes of the transformation and decline of American civic life. Transformation of the American Democratic Republic will be of interest to scholars and public spirited citizens who are troubled by the loss of our political heritage and searching for a means to stem the tide.”
—Dr. Cecilia R. Castillo, Texas State University-San Marcos