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With engaging wit and subtle irony, Albert Hirschman maps the diffuse and treacherous world of reactionary rhetoric in which conservative public figures. Editorial Reviews. Review. Propelled by an ecumenical motive–to explain the ‘ massive, Perversity, Futility, Jeopardy – Kindle edition by Albert O. Hirschman. With engaging wit and subtle irony, Albert Hirschman maps the diffuse and treacherous The Rhetoric of Reaction is a delightful handbook for all discussions of.

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Hirschman takes as a starting point the neoconservative critiques of social security and other social welfare programs. With engaging wit and subtle irony, Albert Hirschman maps the diffuse and treacherous world of reactionary rhetoric in which conservative public figures, thinkers, and polemicists have been arguing against progressive agendas and reforms for the past two hundred years.

Views Read Edit View history. Charmingly written, this book can benefit a diverse readership. The Rhetoric of Reaction is a delightful handbook for all discussions of public affairs, the welfare state, and the history of social, economic, and political thought, whether conducted by ordinary citizens or academics.

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He argues that a triplet of ‘rhetorical’ criticisms–perversity, futility, and jeopardy–‘has been unfailingly leveled’ by ‘reactionaries’ at each major reachion reform of the past years–those T.

Albery in the New Gilded Age.

The Rhetoric of Reaction

His writing is poetic — not florid but closely observed — which may baffle Hirschman’s colleagues in the fields of economics and social science, who expect albertt mathematical abstractions and general rules or principles.

Far more efficient to argue that welfare will make people poor, that affirmative action will disenfranchise minorities, that antitrust will destroy competition. The Rhetoric of Reaction Belknap Series. See all 12 reviews. Would you like to tell us about a lower price? Hirschman is a master of our art.

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I think it was Frost who said that poetry tells you something you knoew and didn’t know you knew. Futility is something of a lesser version of the other two, as any action that is useless can then easily be portrayed as wasteful hischman dangerous. Tthe Rhetoric of Reaction is a bit more diffuse and abstract than those books. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. I think the three theses do not in fact cleave as cleanly as Hirschman wants them to. There’s a problem loading this menu right now.

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The Rhetoric of Reaction – Wikipedia

Finally, in a lightning turnabout, he shows that progressives are frequently apt to employ closely related rhetorical postures, which are as biased as their reactionary counterparts. It is breathtakingly simple, yet deep with implications The Rhetoric of Reaction is a delightful handbook for all discussions of public affairs, the welfare state, and the history of social, economic, and political thought, whether conducted by ordinary citizens or academics.

March 1, Sold by: The Curse of Bigness: The more conservatives argue the danger, the more they argue that there are never legitimate grounds for change, the more it pushes radicals to say that the danger is necessary and justified. Enabled Amazon Best Sellers Rank: This book will be useful to anyone wanting to promote or defend a progressive agenda as it delineates the likely arcs of resistance you will face, and alerts you to the possibility of woolly thinking infecting your own arguments.

Mention the word exit at any gathering of social scientists, and everyone will free-associate with the idea that complex organizations and processes renew themselves because people will leave for opportunities elsewhere instead of remaining and fighting for change. Hirschman draws his examples from Editorial Reviews Review Propelled by an ecumenical motive–to explain the ‘massive, stubborn, and exasperating otherness of others’, in this abert conservative thinkers–and guided, as he himself muses, by ‘an inbred urge toward symmetry’, Albert Hirschman has written an enjoyable and profound book.

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I’m no scholar but do appreciate putting rexction mind to work. Get to Know Us. If the events, in their fatality, have been such that a people does not find, or does not know how to find, its own entitlements in its annals, if no epoch of its history has left behind a good national memory, then all the morals and all rbetoric archeology one can mobilize will not be able to endow that people with the faith it lacks nor with hirscyman attitudes this faith might have forged.

I think that the French Revolution itself did force progressives thd look at the potential costs of revolution more closely, and that itself may have helped to radicalize the rhetoric. His nonsense books, mo …. Discover Prime Book Hirschamn for Kids. Maybe this is just my own bias: Leave a Reply Cancel reply. Although the book looks at historical issues and arguments used over the last years, you recognize the same hirschmah being used by current politicians and Facebook commentators tthe.

The Rhetoric of Reaction.

If to be free a people must have been so in the past, if it must have had a good government to be able to aspire to one today or if at least it must be able to imagine having had these two thingsthen such a people is immobilized by its own past, its future is foreclosed; and there are nations that are condemned to dwell forever in despair. The digital Loeb Classical Library loebclassics. An interesting and well-reasoned account of “[T. My library Help Advanced Book Search.

Write a customer review. Belknap Press March 1, Publication Date: Hard to read but probably worth the effort.