Making Patriots

  • Title:

    Making Patriots
  • Paperback ISBN:

    0226044386
  • Paperback Dimensions:

    0.50'' x 8.10'' x 5.20''
  • 144 Paperback pages
  • Hardcover ISBN:

    0226044378

Samuel Johnson once called patriotism "the last refuge of scoundrels." Was he right? Recent events, such as the bombing of federal buildings and the formations of threatening militias in the name of patriotism, suggest that he may have been on to something. But the United States has also seen its share of heroes: patriots who, over the course of history, have willingly put their lives at risk for this country and, especially, for its principles. This is even more remarkable given that the United States is founded on the concepts of equality and democracy--tenets that encourage individuality and autonomy far more readily than public spiritedness and self-sacrifice.

Walter Berns' "Making Patriots"is a stirring and provocative essay on precisely this paradox. How is patriotism inculcated in a system that, some argue, is founded on self-interest? Expertly and intelligibly guiding the reader through the history and philosophy of patriotism in a republic, from the ancient Greeks through contemporary life, Berns considers the unique nature of patriotism in the United States and its precarious position as we enter the 21st century. He argues that while both public education and the influence of religion once helped to foster a public-minded citizenry, the very idea of patriotism is currently under attack.

Berns finds the best answers to his questions in the thoughts and words of Abraham Lincoln, who understood perhaps better than anyone what the principles of democracy meant and what price adhering to them may exact. The graves at Arlington and Gettysburg — and Omaha Beach in Normandy — bear witness to the fact that self-interested individuals can become patriots, and "Making Patriots" is a compelling exploration of how this was done and how it might be done again.

Walter Berns is a resident scholar at AEI.

 

 

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Walter
Berns

What's new on AEI

Making Ryan's tax plan smarter
image The teacher evaluation confronts the future
image How to reform the US immigration system
image Inversion hysteria
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 01
    MON
  • 02
    TUE
  • 03
    WED
  • 04
    THU
  • 05
    FRI
Wednesday, September 03, 2014 | 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
From anarchy to Augustus: Lessons on dealing with disorder, from Rome’s first emperor

We invite you to join us for two panel discussions on how Augustus created order from chaos 2,000 years ago, and what makes for durable domestic and international political systems in the 21st century.

Event Registration is Closed
Wednesday, September 03, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Multiple choice: Expanding opportunity through innovation in K–12 education

Please join us for a book launch event and panel discussion about how a marketplace of education options can help today's students succeed in tomorrow's economy. Attendees will receive a complimentary copy of the featured book.

Thursday, September 04, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
How conservatives can save the safety net

Please join us for a luncheon event in which our panel will discuss what conservatives can learn from how liberals talk and think about the safety net and where free-market economics, federalism, and social responsibility intersect to lift people out of poverty.

No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled today.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.