Fairness and Freedom A History of Two Open Societies: New Zealand and the United States

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2012-02-10
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Fairness and Freedomcompares the history of two open societies--New Zealand and the United States--with much in common. Both have democratic polities, mixed-enterprise economies, individuated societies, pluralist cultures, and a deep concern for human rights and the rule of law. But all of these elements take different forms, because constellations of value are far apart. The dream of living free is America's Polaris; fairness and natural justice are New Zealand's Southern Cross. Fischer asks why these similar countries went different ways. Both were founded by English-speaking colonists, but at different times and with disparate purposes. They lived in the first and second British Empires, which operated in very different ways. Indians and Maori were important agents of change, but to different ends. On the American frontier and in New Zealand's Bush, material possibilities and moral choices were not the same. Fischer takes the same comparative approach to parallel processes of nation-building and immigration, women's rights and racial wrongs, reform causes and conservative responses, war-fighting and peace-making, and global engagement in our own time--with similar results. On another level, this book expands Fischer's past work on liberty and freedom. It is the first book to be published on the history of fairness. And it also poses new questions in the old tradition of history and moral philosophy. Is it possible to be both fair and free? In a vast array of evidence, Fischer finds that the strengths of these great values are needed to correct their weaknesses. As many societies seek to become more open--never twice in the same way, an understanding of our differences is the only path to peace.

Author Biography

David Hackett Fischer teaches history at Brandeis University. His books include The Great Wave, Albion's Seed, and Liberty and Freedom. Washington's Crossing was a New York Times bestseller and won the Pulitzer Prize in 2005. Champlain's Dream was an international bestseller, and won McGill's Cundill Award for Excellence in 2008.

Table of Contents

Preface: Two Americans in New Zealandp. ix
Introduction: Fairness and Freedomp. 3
Origins of Open Societies
Settler Societiesp. 31
Two British Empiresp. 68
Indians and Maorip. 95
Frontier and Bushp. 139
Nation Building as open Processes
Federalists and Centralistsp. 173
Immigrants, Voluntary and Assistedp. 205
Women's Rightsp. 228
Racist Wrongsp. 263
Lib-Labs and Progressivesp. 296
Open Societies in world Affairs
Foreign Affairs, External Relationsp. 333
Great Crash and Long Slumpp. 368
Military Traditionsp. 407
World Crisisp. 444
Conclusion: Learning to Be Free and Fairp. 475
Appendix: Fairness in Other Disciplinesp. 495
Notesp. 507
List of Mapsp. 576
List of Illustrationsp. 580
Acknowledgmentsp. 589
Indexp. 593
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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