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Stephen A. Douglas

The Political Consequences of Moral Commitments

John Burt. Lincoln’s Tragic Pragmatism: Lincoln, Douglas, and Moral Conflict. (Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2013) 836 pages.   Review by Peter Wirzbicki Few modern academics, and fewer historians, can smoothly glide between Rawls, Kant, Hegel, and obscure details of the Freeport Doctrine with such ease as John Burt in Lincoln’s Tragic Pragmatism. Fewer still can make such details of political history seem to matter to the high philosophical tradition. It treats Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas not just as political figures, but as intellectuals whose approaches to democratic life reveal something profound about the nature of moral Read more