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Figures in the Carpet
Finding the Human Person in the American Past
POD; Published: 1/2/2007
ISBN: 978-0-8028-6311-9
Price: $ 44.50
516 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6.25 x 9.25
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What does it mean to be a human person? This volume is a historical inquiry into that foundational, deceptively simple question. Viewing the human person from various perspectives -- law, education, business, media, religion, medicine, community life, gender, art -- sixteen historians of American life explore how our understanding of personhood has changed over time and how that changing understanding has significantly affected our ideas about morality and human rights, our conversations about public policy, and our American culture as a w h o le.


Margaret Bendroth
Allan Carlson
Thomas R. Cole
Daniel Walker Howe
Richard H. King
Michael J. Lacey
Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn
George M. Marsden
Eugene McCarraher
Wilfred M. McClay
John T. McGreevy
Eric Miller
Sally M. Promey
Charles J. Reid Jr.
Christine Rosen
Christopher Shannon
Daniel Wickberg
Mark A. Noll
— University of Notre Dame
"Figures in the Carpet presents a stellar roster of first-rate historians dealing seriously with a perennially important subject. The case studies and more theoretical accounts in this book amount to an unusually perceptive assessment of how 'the person' has been viewed in American history. This very fine book is both wide-ranging and profound."
Charles Taylor
— McGill University
"This rich collection of papers explores what it means to be a human person. Those who are dissatisfied with the thin, 'unencumbered' self that is so widely influential today will find a wide array of approaches, drawn from America's past and present, many of them profound, and all of them absorbing and thought-provoking."
Casey Nelson Blake
— Columbia University
"At a time when market individualism threatens to obliterate all other understandings of the good life, this remarkable collection makes a compelling case for the idea of the 'human person' as a moral and civic resource for contemporary culture. It brings a new level of historical complexity and moral seriousness to the debate about selfhood and community that has always been a defining feature of American intellectual life."