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For over twenty years Charles Lemert has scoured the canon of social theory, pulling together long-established classics as well as engaging modern writing to create an essential collection of social theory from the nineteenth century to the present. In this heavily revised fifth edition, Lemert reevaluates the received canon and reasserts this iconic text's place in the standard curriculum. Classic, essential texts from thinkers like Marx, Durkheim, and James remain; other key writers, like Dewey and Connell, are presented in a new light; and leading figures in the discussion of twenty-first-century society, such as Elijah Anderson and Bruno Latour, are anthologized here for the first time. In addition to classic and multicultural readings, the new fifth edition introduces a discussion of global social theory as well as important new and evolving topics like mobile technologies, the virtual realm, masculinities, and bare life. For the first time, timelines are included to visually present readings against the backdrop of significant events in social and world history. With more than 100 authors, thinkers, and scholars represented, the fifth edition of Social Theory is an essential component of any course on social theory.
Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971) was a Protestant preacher, an influential religious thinker, and an important moral guide in mid-twentieth-century America. But what does he have to say to us now? In what way does he inform the thinking of political leaders and commentators from Barack Obama and Madeleine Albright to David Brooks and Walter Russell Mead, all of whom acknowledge his influence? In this lively overview of Niebuhr's career, Charles Lemert analyzes why interest in Niebuhr is rising and how Niebuhr provides the answers we ache for in the face of seismic shifts in the global order. In the middle of the twentieth century, having outgrown a theological liberalism, Niebuhr challenged and rethought the nonsocialist Left in American politics. He developed a political realism that refused to sacrifice ideals to mere pragmatism, or politics to bitterness and greed. He examined the problem of morality in an immoral society and reimagined the balance between rights and freedom for the individual and social justice for the many. With brevity and deep insight, Lemert shows how Niebuhr's ideas illuminate our most difficult questions today.
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