Statesmanship: Six Modern Illustrations of a Modified Ancient Ideal

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Susquehanna University Press, 1995 - Political Science - 150 pages
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Statesmanship investigates the applicability of the ancient Greco-Roman arts of statemanship and oratory to the liberal polities of the past two centuries. It begins with an investigation of ideas of Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero on statesmanship; surveys obstacles and complications introduced for this art by Christianity, modern science and technology, and modern economics; and inspects the possibilities of the practice of this ancient art - even in diluted and truncated form - in modern conditions of social complexity, vast size, and compartmentalization.
Then, in an attempt to shed light on the questions raised in the theoretical discussion, the book moves to a series of case studies beginning with George Washington and Alexander Hamilton and ending with Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger. These chapters are intended both to illustrate aspects of statesmanship and their applicability to modern circumstances, as well as to offer occasional appraisal and criticism of the leaders being scrutinized.
The final chapter rehearses the essential conditions for the practice of statesmanship and politics, focusing especially on the role of rhetoric or persuasive utterance and on the relationship of politics to armed force.

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From Ancient Writers toward a Theory of Modern
George Washington and Alexander Hamilton

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About the author (1995)

Wendell John Coats, Jr. is associate professor of Government at Connecticut College, New London, where he teaches courses in the history of ancient and modern political theory.

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