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America’s Unwritten Constitution

America’s Unwritten Constitution

Science, Religion, and Political Responsibility

Don K. Price

ISBN 9780674031425

Publication date: 01/01/1985

Don K. Price seeks the cause of the nation’s inability to develop coherent policies and manage consistent programs and finds it in American attitudes toward authority. This country’s managerial disarray can be traced to religious and philosophical roots of our informal system of government and its development. Price shows how a native American skepticism toward all establishments, combined with a belief in the role of science as advancing progress, has given us a moralistic, reformist view of government that rejects compromise even for the sake of coherence and continuity. This is unlike the experience of Great Britain and Canada, which he relates in a series of incisive comparisons.


  • With erudition and provocative insight Don Price has explored the religious and philosophical roots of our informal system of government… It is impossible to do justice to the richness of this analysis of the opportunities and the pitfalls facing those who are concerned with institutional change in the interest of more coherent policy and greater accountability. The wisdom that it offers is based not only on wide-ranging scholarship and reflection on the historical record but also on a lifetime of profoundly pertinent personal experience.

    —David B. Truman, The Review of Politics


  • Don K. Price was Dean of the John Fitzgerald Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and the 1967 President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Book Details

  • 224 pages
  • 5-7/8 x 9 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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