Moral Problems in American Life: New Perspectives on Cultural History by Karen HalttunenMoral Problems in American Life: New Perspectives on Cultural History by Karen Halttunen

Moral Problems in American Life: New Perspectives on Cultural History

EditorKaren Halttunen, Lewis Perry

Paperback | December 15, 1998

Pricing and Purchase Info

$55.35 online 
$61.50 list price save 10%
Earn 277 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


American history is filled with moments of grave moral doubt and institutional crisis, with conflicts over fundamental values, with ethical dilemmas and paradoxes. This volume surveys the moral landscape of the American past from slavery to the Vietnam War. Bringing together fourteen of the most original historians practicing today, the book illuminates a critical dimension of American history, even as it shows how historical study contributes to present-day debates about values and the moral life.These essays examine a wide range of questions that have engaged past generations of Americans and persist into the present—questions about the composition of a moral community and the case for civil disobedience, about the appropriate responses to injustices and inequalities, and about the ethical implications of artistic expression, school curricula, sexual behaviors, and popular media. Focusing on the impact of moral problems on everyday experience, the authors consider these questions in light of reform movements and religious practices; changing social institutions such as marriage, public schools, labor unions, and penitentiaries; and enduring moral forces from the Bible to the U.S. Constitution. Together their essays give historical context to a wide variety of American practices and beliefs and, in doing so, provide a new framework for understanding cultural life.

Karen Halttunen is Professor of History at the University of California, Davis. Lewis Perry is Andrew Jackson Professor of History at Vanderbilt University.
Title:Moral Problems in American Life: New Perspectives on Cultural HistoryFormat:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.76 inPublished:December 15, 1998Publisher:Cornell University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801483506

ISBN - 13:9780801483509

Look for similar items by category:


Editorial Reviews

"This collection is a worthy tribute to the authors' mentor and a coherent work in its own right. It will surely find its way onto the reading list of those few remaining classes that are labeled 'intellectual' history. With luck, it will be read by students and their professors who care about clarifying ambiguous issues in clear and elegant prose."

- The Journal of the Early Republic