Book Reviews

Review: “Democracy in Moderation: Montesquieu, Tocqueville and Sustainable Liberalism”

By James Poulos / Contributor ● Claremont Review of Books ● 09/20/2017


To defend moderation moderately is a matter of necessity. But in our time, arguments from necessity are necessarily immoderate arguments for extremes. As “moderate” has become a discrediting slur in some quarters and a badge of honor in others, moderation as a principle provokes outrage, while ignorance of moderation as political thought’s cornerstone has become almost universal. Overturning these now-characteristic American excesses is a tall order, but in Democracy in Moderation: Montesquieu, Tocqueville, and Sustainable Liberalism, Paul Carrese addresses them calmly, methodically, thoughtfully, and pointedly. The result is a rich yet compact case for restoring the moderate virtues in politics today.

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