Why do men and women sometimes risk everything to defend their liberties? What motivates principled opposition to the abuse of power? In this text, Sharon Krause explores honour as a motive for risky and difficult forms of political action. She shows the sense of honour to be an important source of such action and a spring of individual agency more generally. Krause traces the genealogy of honour, including its ties to conscientious objection and civil disobedience, beginning in old-regime France and culminating in the American civil rights movement. She examines the dangers intrinsic to honour and the tensions between honour and modern democracy, but demonstrates that the sense of honour has supported political agency in the United States from the founders to democratic reformers such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Martin Luther King, Jr. Honour continues to hold interest and importance because it combines self-concern and personal ambition with principled higher purposes, and so challenges the disabling dichotomy between self-interest and self-sacrifice that pervades both political theory and American public life.
Sharon R. Krause is Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Political Science, at Brown University.
Preface 1. Liberal Inspirations Political Agency and the Need for Inspiration Excavating Honor 2. Honor and the Defense of Liberty in the Old Regime The Place of Honor in the Old Regime Honor's High Ambitions Reverence and Reflexivity The Partiality of Honor Recognition and Resistance 3. Honor and Democracy in America The Conflict between Honor and Democracy Honor and Self-Interest Well Understood "A Little of Their Greatness" 4. The Love of Fame and the Southern Gentleman Honor and the Love of Fame at the Founding Slavery and the Southern Gentleman 5. Honor and Democratic Reform Lincoln's Principled Ambition Frederick Douglass: The Soul of Honor Honor and Self-Sovereignty: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Honor in the Civil Rights Movement 6. Conclusion: Pluralism, Agency, and Varieties of Democratic Honor Notes Bibliography Index
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