Rhetoric of Reaction by Albert O. Hirschman
Look inside with Google Book Preview
Rhetoric of Reaction
By Albert O. Hirschman

The Rhetoric of Reaction

Perversity, Futility, Jeopardy

By (author) See other recent books by Albert O. Hirschman
Format: Paperback

Normal Price: $55.99
Your Price: $50.39 AUD, inc. GST
Shipping: $7.95 per order
You Save: $5.60! (10% off normal price)
Plus...earn $2.52 in Boomerang Bucks
Availability: Available Available to Backorder, No Due Date for Supply

Rhetoric of Reaction by Albert O. Hirschman

Book Description

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.Hirschman draws his examples from three successive waves of reactive thought that arose in response to the liberal ideas of the French Revolution and the Declaration of the Rights of Man, to democratization and the drive toward universal suffrage in the nineteenth century, and to the welfare state in our own century. In each case he identifies three principal arguments invariably used: (1) the perversity thesis, whereby any action to improve some feature of the political, social, or economic order is alleged to result in the exact opposite of what was intended; (2) the futility thesis, which predicts that attempts at social transformation will produce no effects whatever--will simply be incapable of making a dent in the status quo; (3) the jeopardy thesis, holding that the cost of the proposed reform is unacceptable because it will endanger previous hard-won accomplishments. He illustrates these propositions by citing writers across the centuries from Alexis de Tocqueville to George Stigler, Herbert Spencer to Jay Forrester, Edmund Burke to Charles Murray. 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. For those who aspire to the genuine dialogue that characterizes a truly democratic society, Hirschman points out that both types of rhetoric function, in effect, as contraptions designed to make debate impossible. In the process, his book makes an original contribution to democratic thought."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.

Buy Rhetoric of Reaction book by Albert O. Hirschman from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.

Book Details

ISBN: 9780674768680
ISBN-10: 067476868X
Format: Paperback
(210mm x 140mm x 17mm)
Pages: 224
Imprint: The Belknap Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 20-Feb-1991
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author Albert O. Hirschman

Development Projects Observed by Albert O. Hirschman Development Projects Observed, Paperback (December 2014)

Originally published in 1967, the modest and plainly descriptive title of Development Projects Observed is deceptive. Today, it is recognized as the ultimate volume in Hirschman's groundbreaking trilogy on development, and as the bridge to the broader social science themes of his subsequent writings.

Passions and the Interests by Albert O. Hirschman Passions and the Interests, Paperback (October 2013)

Reconstructs the intellectual climate of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to illuminate the intricate ideological transformation that occurred, wherein the pursuit of material interests - so long condemned as the deadly sin of avarice - was assigned the role of containing the unruly and destructive passions of man.

Shifting Involvements by Albert O. Hirschman Shifting Involvements, Paperback (January 2002)

Why does society oscillate between intense interest in public issues and almost total concentration on private goals? This work offers a social, political, and economic analysis dealing with how and why frustrations of private concerns lead to public involvement and public participation that eventually lead back to those private concerns.

» View all books by Albert O. Hirschman


» Have you read this book? We'd like to know what you think about it - write a review about Rhetoric of Reaction book by Albert O. Hirschman and you'll earn 50c in Boomerang Bucks loyalty dollars (you must be a member - it's free to sign up!)

Write a book review

Author Biography - Albert O. Hirschman

Albert O. Hirschman is Professor of Social Science, Emeritus, at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, following a career of prestigious appointments, honors, and awards. Perhaps the most widely known and admired of his many books are Exit, Voice, and Loyalty (Harvard) and The Passions and the Interests (Princeton).

Boomerang Bucks close

For every $20 you spend on books, you will receive $1 in Boomerang Bucks loyalty dollars. You can use your Boomerang Bucks as a credit towards a future purchase from Boomerang Books. Note that you must be a Member (free to sign up) and that conditions do apply.

Recent books by Albert O. Hirschman close
Essential Hirschman by Albert O. Hirschman
Development Projects Observed by Albert O. Hirschman
Passions and the Interests by Albert O. Hirschman
Shifting Involvements by Albert O. Hirschman
Crossing Boundaries by Albert O. Hirschman
Passions and the Interests by Albert O. Hirschman
Propensity to Self-subversion by Albert O. Hirschman
Exit, Voice and Loyalty by Albert O. Hirschman
In Search of Stability by Albert O. Hirschman
In Search of Stability by Albert O. Hirschman
Changing Boundaries of the Political by Albert O. Hirschman
Work and Politics by Albert O. Hirschman
Organizing Interests in Western Europe by Albert O. Hirschman
Essays in Trespassing:Economics to Politics and Beyond by Albert O. Hirschman
BoomerangBooks.com.au close