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Locke in America


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The author-a freelance writer with a Ph. D. from the New School for Social Research-states that "this book began as a doctoral dissertation," and, indeed, it has all of the virtues-and faults-of this genre: it's thorough, detailed, and prolix, with an exhaustive review and examination of the pertinent literature and extensive footnotes. Huyler traces the rise and fall of the academy's attitude toward the extent of Locke's influence on the founders of the American nation. Initially, Locke was considered to have greatly influenced the founders, but recent scholarship discounts this theory. This study argues persuasively that the original conception is the correct one. Recommended strictly for academic collections in history, philosophy, and political science.-Leon H. Brody, U.S. Office of Personnel Management Lib., Washington, D.C.

Huyler carries his new and persuasive interpretation of Locke onto the battlefield of American historiography and plants the flag of Lockean liberalism, rightly understood, atop the high moral and ideological ground of the founding of the American Republic. His passion is evident, but appropriately restrained. He treats the victims of his critique--and it's a long and distinguished list--graciously and fairly. He also writes well, with flashes of eloquence.--Steven M. Dworetz, author of The Unvarnished Doctrine: Locke, Liberalism, and the American Revolution
The text thoughtfully engages current scholarship. The book breathes new life into the role of John Locke. And it provides a valuable perspective on the intellectual discourse of the revolutionary era.--Journal of American HistoryAn admirable contribution to Lockean scholarship and to the historiography of the American founding.--William and Mary QuarterlyAn important work of historical scholarship and interpretation. It makes a genuine contribution to the ongoing debate about Locke, liberalism, and the nature of the American founding.--American Political Science ReviewHuyler's book is distinguished by the excellence of its critical encounter with Locke scholarship. Indeed, the analysis of this scholarship is generally ingenious, and often brilliant.--Review of PoliticsHuyler should be recognized for creating a provocative, often compelling, book that will aid scholarly inquiry into the many issues he has examined.--H-Net ReviewsWith more thoroughness than his predecessors, Huyler reveals an exceptionally comprehensive philosophy; everything Locke did is shown to have been relevant to everything else. Huyler is especially convincing on the integral relationship of Human Understanding to the Two Treatises.--Political StudiesAn engaging, lively, and ambitious book.--Journal of the History of Behavioral Sciences

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