On Cultivating Liberty : Reflections on Moral Ecology (1999)

Date: January 14, 2013

How a Catholic Whig theory of liberty amends liberal theories

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Few writers have covered the intellectual terrain traversed by Michael Novak, who has written on theology, philosophy, political economy, and business theory. This book brings together many of Novak’s crucial essays on “moral ecology”: the ethos that must be cultivated and preserved if liberal democratic societies are to survive. Novak argues in defense of the free and virtuous society by examining the family, welfare reform, free markets, self-government, and the American founding. A series of remarkable intellectual studies on figures such as Jacques Maritain, St. Thomas Aquinas, and John Courtney Murray, along with an autobiographical essay by Novak and an introduction by Brian C. Anderson, complete On Cultivating Liberty, an indispensable book for anyone concerned about the future of the democratic project as we enter the third millennium.

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“On Cultivating Liberty is a compelling brief against the moral deregulation that threatens the free market and the democratic experiment alike.”

Mary Ann Glendon
Harvard Law School

“Michael Novak’s concern over many years has been to ground the defense of capitalism in a long tradition of Western moral reflection. This collection of essays presents this concern in a compact and highly lucid form.”

Peter L. Berger
Boston University

“Novak demonstrates with calm clarity how a proper understanding of liberty and its moral ecology leads not only to the good life but to good lives. A major contribution to resolving issues that still vex us at the end of the century.”

Robert Royal
Ethics and Public Policy Center

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