Add to GoodReads

On Cultivating Liberty

Reflections on Moral Ecology

Michael Novak and Brian C. Anderson

Few writers have covered the intellectual terrain traversed by Michael Novak, who has written on theology, philosophy, political economy, and business theory. This book brings together many of Novak's crucial essays on "moral ecology": the ethos that must be cultivated and preserved if liberal democratic societies are to survive. Novak argues in defense of the free and virtuous society by examining the family, welfare reform, free markets, self-government, and the American founding. A series of remarkable intellectual studies on figures such as Jacques Maritain, St. Thomas Aquinas, and John Courtney Murray, along with an autobiographical essay by Novak and an introduction by Brian C. Anderson, complete On Cultivating Liberty, an indispensable book for anyone concerned about the future of the democratic project as we enter the third millennium. « less more »
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 368Size: 5 x 7 3/4
978-0-8476-9405-1 • Hardback • January 1999 • $36.00 • (£24.95)
Michael Novak is a cofounder and former publisher of Crisis magazine, and a frequent contributor to The Wall Street Journal, National Review, and Forbes. He has written more than 25 books, including The Fire of Invention: Civil Society and the Future of the Corporation (Rowman & Littlefield, 1997). Novak lives in Washington DC.

Brian C. Anderson is a research associate in social and political studies at the American Enterprise Institute, and the author of Raymond Aron: The Recovery of the Political (Rowman & Littlefield, 1997).
Chapter 1 Introduction
Part 2 Part One: Liberty: The Virtue and the Institutions
Chapter 3 Truth and Liberty
Chapter 4 Seven Whig Amendments
Chapter 5 How to Make a Republic Work
Chapter 6 Boredom, Virtue and Democratic Capitalism (or) The End of History?
Chapter 7 Civil Society and Self-Government
Chapter 8 The Crisis of the Welfare State
Chapter 9 In Praise of Bourgeois Virtues
Part 10 Part Two: Liberty: The Tradition and Some of Its Heroes
Chapter 11 The Catholic Whig Revisited
Chapter 12 Thomas Aquinas v. Heretics
Chapter 13 The Achievement of Jacques Maritain
Chapter 14 Maritain and the Jews
Chapter 15 Needing Niebuhr Again
Chapter 16 Reinhold Niebuhr, Father of Neoconservatives
Chapter 17 Twice Chosen: Irving Kristol as American
Chapter 18 The Christian Philosophy of John Paul II
Part 19 Part Three: Afterword
Chapter 20 Errand into the Wilderness
Chapter 21 A Reader's Guide
Michael Novak's concern over many years has been to ground the defense of capitalism in a long tradition of western moral reflection. This collection of essays presents this concern in a compact and highly lucid form. The book can be read with pleasure both by those familiar with Novak's earlier work and by those coming to his ideas for the first time.
Peter L. Berger, Boston University

In these essays on the cultural foundations of freedom, one of America's leading intellectuals reinvigorates a great tradition of social thought. Michael Novak enriches theories of civil society by supplying their missing links to Jewish and Christian teachings, and modernizes them with his sophisticated concept of 'moral ecology.' On Cultivating Liberty is a compelling brief against the moral deregulation that threatens the free market and the democratic experiment alike.
Mary Ann Glendon, Learned Hand Professor of Law, Harvard University, former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See

In these reflections, Michael Novak moves with magisterial ease over the common ground between ethics and economics. More even than in his earlier volumes, Novak demonstrates with calm clarity, how a proper understanding of liberty and its moral ecology leads not only to the good life but to good lives. A major contribution to resolving issues that still vex us at the end of the century.
Bob Royal, Ethics and Public Policy Center

This collection of Michael's Novak's 'best essays' is a necessary resource for those interested in the mature thought of this important thinker. ...the final essay, Errands into the Wilderness, covers some of the same ground as the essay Controversial Engagements from an interestingly different angle.
First Things, May, 1999

Novak <... is well known as a defender of democratic capitalism. The pieces in this collection <... are intended to situate that defense in a larger context.
Joseph M. Knippenberg, Oglethorpe University; Perspectives on Political Science, Vol. 29, No. 2

Novak's suggestions for preserving and improving regimes of liberty is still another fine contribution to the growing list of theorists attempting to grapple with the slide of liberty into individual and collective relativism and even nihilism.
The Journal Of Religion