Samuel P. Huntington
The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History By Samuel Moyn (Belknap Press, 337 pp., $27.95) In 1807, in Yorkshire, activists hit the campaign trail for William Wilberforce, whose eloquent parliamentary fight against Britain’s slave trade had won surprising success. “O we’ve heard of his Cants in Humanity’s Cause/While the Senate was hush’d, and the land wept applause,” they sang.
The Politics of Truth: Selected Writings of C. Wright Mills Edited by John Summers (Oxford University Press, 320 pp., $21.95) C.Wright Mills published his sociological trilogy during the 1950s: White Collar in 1951, The Power Elite in 1956, The Sociological Imagination in 1959. Those were years of Republican ascendancy, and while the president, Dwight D. Eisenhower, was a moderate, the vice president, Richard Nixon, and a number of key senators, including Joe McCarthy, belonged to the conservative wing of the party.
American Politics: The Promise of Disharmony By Samuel P. Huntington (Harvard University Press, 303 pp., $15) This brilliant book should have been published a year ago. In the last days of the Carter Administration it did seem as if our political institutions suffered from a deepening erosion of authority. The leading exhibit was an enfeebled presidency whose decline had continued from the 1960s to the 1970s, regardless of party or person.