The Decline of Fraternity

Redeeming Democracy in America
Wilson Carey McWilliams
University of Kansas Press, $34.95, 336 pp.

“Character is a fine autumnal word, with echoes of Protestant gentility and sherry in the afternoon.” Perhaps surprisingly, those are the words of someone who worked in political science, a discipline whose practitioners, along with many in the social sciences, tend to write in flat, desiccated prose. But Wilson Carey McWilliams—whose sudden death in 2005 shocked his family, friends, students, and profession—was a rarity among political scientists. He was...

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About the Author

Jean Bethke Elshtain, a political theorist, authored more than a dozen books, including Women and War (1987), Democracy on Trial (1993), Augustine and the Limits of Politics (1996), and Sovereignty: God, State, Self (2008). She was a frequent contributor to Commonweal and covered many subjects in our pages, including feminism, family, just war, criminal justice, and capitalism.