Includes bibliographical references (pages 275-283) and index.
From the author of "For Common Things" comes a provocative look at the meaning of American freedom. Purdy works from the stories of individuals: Frederick Douglass urging Americans to extend freedom to slaves, Ralph Waldo Emerson arguing for self-fulfillment, and others.
Introduction: The sensation of freedom -- Declarations of independence -- The search for civic dignity -- War and its equivalents -- Is freedom empty? Citizenship, sodomy, and the meaning of life -- American utopias -- The economics of 1776, and today -- The value of freedom -- Fragments of a free economy.