If you’re like many people, you might associate debate with either a high school or college club or a TV political “debate” that features two or more candidates talking over each other. But if a club or political showmanship is your only association with debating, you’re missing out on an exhilarating intellectual pursuit that can help you in all aspects of your daily life, from making business decisions to engaging friends at cocktail parties.
This groundbreaking exploration of the roots of our political order shows that American partisanship originated in the debates over the French Revolution, fueled by the fiery rhetoric of two ideological titans.
With the advent of modernity, the questions on which philosophers and religious thinkers had been reflecting for centuries underwent a dramatic and unprecedented change. For over a thousand years, the existence of God and the importance of religion had gone unquestioned in the Western world. Any discussion was confined to the best ways of understanding and putting into practice a religious truth that had already been revealed.
While those words were written over 200 years ago, recent years have seen an explosion of interest in and interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. Its authority and stature are routinely invoked by voices from every point on the political spectrum who seek to defend their views on issues ranging from separation of powers to the proper role of the Supreme Court to legitimate interpretations of the Bill of Rights, with frequent references to the Founding Fathers and their true "intent."