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Confronting InjusticeMoral History and Political Theory$
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David Lyons

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199662555

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199662555.001.0001

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Courage and Political Resistance 1

Courage and Political Resistance 1

Chapter:
(p.177) 9 Courage and Political Resistance1
Source:
Confronting Injustice
Author(s):

David Lyons

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199662555.003.0010

This essay relates the author’s personal experience to his academic interests. Growing up under the New Deal, he acquired values it became dangerous to act upon during the Red Scare that followed World War Two. Intense political activity during the early 1950s led the author to abandon college and devote himself to political organizing. Changing circumstances and reflection later led him to resume his studies and to move from engineering to philosophy. The author’s political orientation led him to moral theory and experience made him skeptical of assumptions made by philosophers of good will, such as the idea of a moral obligation to obey unjust as well as just law in the real world. The historical study of political resistance led the author to focus on racial aspects of American history. The deeper he delved, the more he found Americans confronting systemic injustice, some facets of which the other essays in this volume explore.

Keywords:   civil disobedience, courage, bravery, my lai, warsaw ghetto, jim crow, mississippi, voting rights, SNCC, CORE

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