Tag Archive

what I’m reading

To Raise the Level of the Debate: Political Theory and Intellectual History

Last week I read Albert Hirschman’s 1977 study The Passions and the Interests: Political Arguments for Capitalism before Its Triumph. A miracle of compression and lucidity, Passions ends with a line that I might begin intoning as a mantra each time I sit down to work on my dissertation: “This is probably all one can ask of history, and of the history of ideas in particular: not to resolve issues, but to raise the level of the debate.” Hirschman calls his study a history of ideas, and it certainly is that, but it also has been recognized by the American Read more