Paper $30.00 ISBN: 9780226712321 Will Publish August 2020
Cloth $90.00 ISBN: 9780226712291 Will Publish August 2020
E-book $30.00 Available for pre-order. ISBN: 9780226712468 Will Publish August 2020

States of Exception in American History

Edited by Gary Gerstle and Joel Isaac

States of Exception in American History

Edited by Gary Gerstle and Joel Isaac

344 pages | 1 line drawing | 6 x 9 | © 2020
Paper $30.00 ISBN: 9780226712321 Will Publish August 2020
Cloth $90.00 ISBN: 9780226712291 Will Publish August 2020
E-book $30.00 ISBN: 9780226712468 Will Publish August 2020
States of Exception in American History brings to light the remarkable number of instances since the Founding in which the protections of the Constitution have been overridden, held in abeyance, or deliberately weakened for certain members of the polity. In the United States, derogations from the rule of law seem to have been a feature of—not a bug in—the constitutional system.

The first comprehensive account of the politics of exceptions and emergencies in the history of the United States, this book weaves together historical studies of moments and spaces of exception with conceptual analyses of emergency, the state of exception, sovereignty, and dictatorship. The Civil War, the Great Depression, and the Cold War figure prominently in the essays; so do Francis Lieber, Frederick Douglass, John Dewey, Clinton Rossiter, and others who explored whether it was possible for the United States to survive states of emergency without losing its democratic way. States of Exception combines political theory and the history of political thought with histories of race and political institutions. It is both inspired by and illuminating of the American experience with constitutional rule in the age of terror and Trump.
 
Review Quotes
Benjamin A. Coates, Wake Forest University
States of Exception in American History offers a refined introduction to the problems of ‘emergency’ in liberal states. This volume is the first to combine theory and history in such a compelling fashion.”
Sanford Levinson, University of Texas
“Gerstle and Isaac have brought together an excellent collection. There is no doubt of the importance of examining how democracies face emergencies nor is there doubt about the quality of the examinations these contributors provide.”
Samuel Moyn, Yale University
“After September 11, 2001, many reacquainted themselves with political discourses back to Rome that deployed but limited emergency authorities, while others reread twentieth-century German theorist Carl Schmitt, notorious for his claim that the power to rule in exceptional times shadows governance in ordinary ones. This rich and unprecedented collection recovers American traditions of engaging emergencies long before the last two decades dawned, Donald Trump came to power, and global pandemic struck. Assembling historical case studies and theoretical reflections, Gary Gerstle and Joel Isaac have achieved something intellectually superb and uncommonly cohesive. No one could deny its contemporary relevance; no one knows where new national emergencies are taking Americans next.”
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