Ted V. McAllister

Civic Engagement and the “Native Country”

alexis_de_tocqueville July 15, 2014
[This post is adapted with permission from “Making American Places: Civic Engagement Rightly Understood,” an essay in the anthology Why Place Matters: Geography, Identity, and Civic Life in Modern America, edited by Wilfred M. McClay and Ted V. McAllister.] The…
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In Search of the Real Coolidge

calvin-coolidge-whitehouse August 13, 2013
Our interest in historical subjects says as much about our society as about the subjects themselves.  The growing interest in the life, thought and presidency of Calvin Coolidge issues from frustration with contemporary politics and politicians—none so much as Barack…
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Public versus Government Schools

August 9, 2012
In an essay posted at the law and liberty blog I explored how Progressives seek to rear citizens–to create the kind of citizens well suited to the Progressive administrative state.  Part of my argument is that government schools have ceased…
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Whatever Happened to the Playful Ad Hominem?

July 24, 2012
Few things excited or engaged my mind as a child as much as Buckley’s playful ad hominem attacks, launched regularly at his guests on Firing Line.  The debates concerned heavy issues, but somehow the surprise verbal assaults elevated the conversation—gave…
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Nisbet, Austerity, and Progressive Community

July 24, 2012
Over at the Liberty and Law blog I am writing a series of essays in which I examine Robert Nisbet’s ideas in light of contemporary austerity.  In the first essay I reflect on how the over-reach of the administrative state…
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Cars, Individualism, and the Paradox of Freedom in a Mass Society

cars October 14, 2011
The automobile squared perfectly with a distinctive American ideal of freedom—freedom of mobility.
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Rocky and the New Populism

rocky September 9, 2011
Today we can easily forget how dark things looked in the 1970s and how much people feared that they might be living in the sunset years of our nation and its characteristic way of life. We forget how important patriotism and a belief in the goodness of the nation were to the health of the republic.
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Iris Chang and the Delicate Art of Remembering

inside-chang August 5, 2011
A proper remembering requires more than telling the facts or chronicling the plunder, rape, murder in Nanking; it requires that one explain the event.
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Can the Left Govern?

January 19, 2011
Recently I was asked to participate in a symposium on Michael Berube’s “The Left At War” for the journal “Politics and Culture.”  I took the author to be scolding those he calls the “Manichean Left” because they threatened the ability…
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Allan Bloom and Homogenizing Nature

August 31, 2010
What is the purpose of education?
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Liberated From Community?

August 18, 2010
Was Nisbet wrong about the quest for community?
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Pale Liberalism

wolfe August 2, 2010
It is time to reopen the questions about human nature, about human autonomy, about the desirability self-creation. Liberals should, in brief, broaden their horizons to ponder competing views of human flourishing.
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The Anti-Propaganda of Calvin Coolidge

June 28, 2010
In a wonderful little essay on Calvin Coolidge (Calvin Coolidge: Puritanism de Luxe) written in 1926, Walter Lippmann described the president as having mastered the “technique of anti-propaganda” by sapping public interest in government, by deflating enthusiasm for programs, projects,…
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A Product of Speed

Nostalgia June 21, 2010
Nostalgia is, therefore, an index of alienation, communal decrepitude, and, at high levels, cultural patricide.
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Where have all the freshmen gone?

March 4, 2010
Heaven forbid. . .
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Citizens of the World, Divide!

December 15, 2009
Moorpark, CA. We are told to be careful with our words, to be aware of how our words might make other people feel or of how we might be misunderstood.  However important is this advice (and it is…
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