Written by leading authorities in history, philosophy, jurisprudence and political theory, the essays in this volume provide new insights into the variable and changing contents of the rights thinking and consciousness that lie at the core of American political culture and shape its central political institutions. Based on the current state of scholarly understanding and intended to provide a fresh sense of orientation into the complexities of the separate topics covered, the studies focus on two distinct "moments" in the American experience: the eighteenth-century period of founding that produced the Bill of Rights as an element in the Constitutional settlement, and the contemporary moment, marked by a new historical consciousness of the difficulties of interpreting rights in changing contexts and thus by the continuing search for a properly grounded philosophical jurisprudence adequate to meet the ethical, social, and political conflicts of the present.
'For anyone seriously interested in understanding the American political founding and the evolution of our constitutional republic, A Culture of Rights is required reading. The impressive essays in this collection ... explore the cultural, moral, philosophical, legal and political moorings of rights as they were established and have developed throughout American history ... This collection is a valuable and important contribution to the literature and belongs in all academic libraries.' Library Journal