Focusing on the Western philosophical tradition and the work of contemporary feminists, Jean Elshtain explores the general tendency to assert the primacy of the public world--the political sphere dominated by men--and to denigrate the private world--the familial sphere dominated by women. She offers her own positive reconstruction of the public and the private in a feminist theory that reaffirms the importance of the family and envisions an "ethical polity."
"A rare achievement. . . . [Elshtain] describes a political community and a kind of citizenship that are accessible and engaging for people of both sexes, of many ethnicities and religions, with private as well as public commitments."--Michael Walzer
"A landmark book. . . . Elshtain's work is characterized by . . . a desire to personalize scholarship so that we can understand the impact of the theorists' ideas on our everyday lives."--Arlene W. Saxonhouse
"Jean Elshtain's book is an indispensable one for whoever wants to open out the whole set of issues about our multiple concepts of the public, and their relation to gender over the ages."--Charles Taylor
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