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NONFICTION | IN BRIEF

August 18, 1996|Susan Salter Reynolds

FOR LOVE OF COUNTRY: Debating the Limits of Patriotism by Martha C. Nussbaum (Beacon Press: $15, paperback original, 160 pp.). Martha Nussbaum is one of the uncompromising intellects of the last decade. She teaches law and ethics at the University of Chicago, has written several books (most recently "Poetic Justice," 1995) and participates vigorously in public debates on literature, religion, politics and history in such august (if slightly isolated) forums as the New York Review of Books.

This collection, edited by Joshua Cohen, a professor of philosophy and political science at MIT, began with a 1994 essay in the Boston Review, "Patriotism and Cosmopolitanism," in which Nussbaum made the case against patriotism ("We are all condemned to death") and for participation in a "worldwide community of human beings." ("One might wonder, however, how far the politics of nationalism really is from the politics of difference.") This volume includes 15 responses to that essay by Benjamin R. Barber (professor of politics and culture at Rutgers, author of "An Aristocracy of Everyone" and "Jihad vs. McWorld"), Richard Falk (professor of political science at Princeton), Nathan Glazer (professor of education and sociology at Harvard), Gertrude Himmelfarb (author of "The De-Moralization of Society: From Victorian Virtues to Modern Values"), Robert Pinsky (poet), Amartya Sen (economist), Immanuel Wallerstein (co-author of "Race, Nation, Class: Ambiguous Identities"), Michael Walzer (professor at the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton, author of "In the Company of Critics") and others.

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