Fairness and Freedom

Hardcover | January 18, 2012

byDavid Hackett Fischer

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Fairness and Freedom compares the history of two open societies - New Zealand and the United States - with much in common. Both have democratic polities, mixed-enterprise economies, individuated societies, pluralist cultures, and a deep concern for human rights and the rule of law. But allof these elements take different forms, because constellations of value are far apart. The dream of living free is America's Polaris; fairness and natural justice are New Zealand's Southern Cross. Fischer asks why these similar countries went different ways. Both were founded by English-speaking colonists, but at different times and with disparate purposes. They lived in the first and second British Empires, which operated in very different ways. Indians and Maori were important agents ofchange, but to different ends. On the American frontier and in New Zealand's Bush, material possibilities and moral choices were not the same. Fischer takes the same comparative approach to parallel processes of nation-building and immigration, women's rights and racial wrongs, reform causes andconservative responses, war-fighting and peace-making, and global engagement in our own time - with similar results. On another level, this book expands Fischer's past work on liberty and freedom. It is the first book to be published on the history of fairness. And it also poses new questions in the old tradition of history and moral philosophy. Is it possible to be both fair and free? In a vast array ofevidence, Fischer finds that the strengths of these great values are needed to correct their weaknesses. As many societies seek to become more open - never twice in the same way, an understanding of our differences is the only path to peace.

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Fairness and Freedom compares the history of two open societies - New Zealand and the United States - with much in common. Both have democratic polities, mixed-enterprise economies, individuated societies, pluralist cultures, and a deep concern for human rights and the rule of law. But allof these elements take different forms, becau...

David Hackett Fischer is University Professor at Brandeis University. His books include The Great Wave: Price Revolutions and the Rhythm of History, Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America, Liberty and Freedom: A Visual History of America's Founding Ideas, and Washington's Crossing, which was a New York Times Bestseller and wi...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:512 pages, 9.25 × 6.5 × 0.98 inPublished:January 18, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199832706

ISBN - 13:9780199832705

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Table of Contents

PrefaceA Voyage of DiscoveryIntroduction: Fairness and FreedomColonial OriginsSettler SocietiesTwo British EmpiresIndians and MaoriFrontier and BushNational DevelopmentFederalists and CentralistsImmigration: Voluntary and AssistedWomen's Rights: Two Feminist TraditionsRacial Wrongs: Struggles for Freedom and JusticeLib-Labs and ProgressivesWorld AffairsExternal Relations, Foreign AffairsLong Slump and Great CrashTwo Military TraditionsWorld Crisis and RestructuringConclusionLearning to be Fair and FreeAppendices:Fairness as a Philosophical Problem: The "Original Position" of John RawlsFairness as a Behavioral Problem: An Animal Instinct?Fairness as a Mathematical Problem: The Problem of Fair DivisionHistoriography:New World Societies: Comparative ApproachesBibliography:Primary and Secondary SourcesNotesAcknowledgements