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Dear Subscribers: I have the pleasure of sending you the following H-SHEAR book review forum about John Brooke's book _Columbia Rising: Civil Life on the Upper Hudson from the Revolution to the Age of Jackson_ (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010), the winner of the 2010 SHEAR Best Book Award. The forum includes reviews written by Andrew W. Robertson and Sandra M. Gustafson and a reply by John Brooke. I would like to thank Professors Robertson, Gustafson, and Brooke for participating in the forum, and I hope that many of you will join the conversation. Happy Reading, Brian Luskey H-SHEAR Book Review Co-editor ********** Andrew W. Robertson's Review John Brooke has turned his prodigious talents as an intellectual, social and political historian to the broad canvass of New York State from the Revolutionary Era to the Age of Jackson. New York lends itself well to this synthetic sweep, and Brooke has joined the company of other distinguished historians who have written critically important works about the Empire State. (These include Dixon Ryan Fox, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., Lee Benson, Alfred Young, Marvin Meyers, Sean Wilentz, Alan Taylor, and Reeve Huston.) In one sense this is a book about the home county of Martin Van Buren and the rise of the Jacksonians to power. Like the works of Brooke's distinguished predecessors named above, it is also a book about the persistent conflict between "Demo" and "Aristo". This is also a far more ambitious book than most in its literary construction and its scope. Brooke wraps his narrative around two "characters," one living, and one abstract. Martin Van Buren is the flesh-and-blood character at the center of this work; the abstract character is the "public sphere," first described and formulated by Jürgen Habermas. Making these "interlocking analytical narratives" (p. 11) work would be a daunting task for any accomplished writer. To Brooke's great credit he succeeds in making this a readable book. Brooke certainly shows his chops as a political and cultural historian: he attempts to define "the shape of civil society and the public sphere in post-Revolutionary America" (p. 11). Somewhat surprisingly, he describes the public sphere as more of an "experience" than a "space." This is a wise decision, as experience lends itself far better to narrative. Initially the public sphere proved a rather unwieldy concept in the hands of American historians. Habermas' work is grounded in Continental Europe in the early nineteenth century. Habermas describes the expansion of deliberation in regimes where public opinion and political inclusion were far more restricted than they were in the United States. This has meant that those historians who wished to import Habermas' construct to the American context have had to exercise caution. Fifteen years ago, I participated in an OAH roundtable chaired by Mary Ryan on how historians might usefully employ Habermas' public sphere in the American context. Among the participants were T.H. Breen, Richard John and Michael Schudson. To my great disappointment, no agreement emerged from this discussion. Breen expressed his agnosticism about the utility of Habermas' model in the American colonial context. He argued that Habermas' insights about the emergence of liberal institutions on the European Continent must be imported with great attention to context, and informed with the ability to draw out the informative differences between Europe and America. In the decade and a half since that OAH roundtable, a new generation of U.S. historians has seen the emergence of an idiosyncratically American public sphere originating in the amalgam of local practices and local print culture expressed in a broadened vernacular discourse. In that time perhaps the leading scholar shaping the definition of the American public sphere has been John Brooke. In 1998 Brooke wrote a review essay in the Journal of Interdisciplinary History that thoughtfully considered how the public sphere could be employed to describe American cultural and intellectual history. A few years later when I was co-editing Beyond the Founders, I opened the first draft of Brooke's carefully constructed essay on the public sphere, "Consent, Civil Society and the Public Sphere in the Age of Revolution and the Early American Republic." I realized with great excitement that he had managed in this brief elegant essay to apply Habermas' framework comprehensively to the changing dimensions of deliberation and persuasion in the early American republic. He identified the central importance of accommodating radical consent in conservative American civil society. At a theoretical level he succeeded beyond my fondest hopes in this work, but at that point he had not actually tried to flesh out the operation of the public sphere in a particular historical context. With this book, Brooke has succeeded in describing the changing contours of the American public sphere in one locality. He gives us a tour of changes in party politics, print culture, slavery, race, gender, the changing boundaries of civil inclusion and exclusion, and the political and social uses of armed violence. For Brooke, the "central premise of deliberative life" in the early republic was that "full citizenship and the right to participate fully in the public arena were bound up in property ownership." (p. 419). In New York State, large numbers of white male inhabitants were caught up in tenancy and "demeaning dependency" which Brooke calls "the shadow of slavery." (p. 419) According to Brooke, what distinguished Columbia County was "an intense struggle over the inclusion of white men inside the boundaries of civility and public participation." (p.8) As he says, "with the rights and citizenship of white men in doubt, there was no room to consider their extension to anyone else." (p.10). In the midst of this conflict over inclusion the other principal "character" in the book takes his place in the narrative. Martin Van Buren (tepidly) advocated the inclusion of all white men inside the boundaries of public participation but he feared the civil associations – reform groups, literary societies – that Tocqueville so admired, because for Van Buren they threatened "corruption." For the Whigs civil society meant reform and the expansion of participation in public life. For Van Buren this voluntary activity threatened the entire Revolutionary settlement by opening public life to private interest. For Brooke, the roots of Van Buren's ideology lay in the expansion of the state and civil society that began in the late 1790s with the Federalists. Between 1786 and 1792 Brooke says "citizenship was redefined in relationship to both local structures and a new national identity…in the early 1790s the new privileged centers of a liberal civil society – city, press, associations – had to reach accommodation with and redefine the operating principles of popular and oligarchic politics, Demo and Aristo" (p. 96). Brooke ranges widely in describing civil society and the public sphere. He begins by discussing what he calls the "Revolutionary settlement": the "variable and uneven fabric of consent, legitimacy and institutions woven in thousands of localities throughout the new republic" (p. 3). Brooke observes that this settlement was resolved quickly in some communities. In others it required short, sharp struggles for a resolution. For Brooke, the question of citizenship lay at the heart of this settlement: who can give meaningful consent to participation in civil life? Brooke explores the expansion of many facets of citizenship in the period from the Revolution to the Jacksonian era. New York lends itself to a compelling narrative because of the protracted struggle between Demo and Aristo. The power of the great landlords was not destroyed or even much diminished by the Revolution and this struggle manifests itself in a contest over publication, deliberation and persuasion, voting, banking and in the most enduring (and sometimes violent) struggle, land tenancy. This was because "the ancient politics of land and dependency continually threatened the revolutionary settlement -- and the transition from a crisis politics of violence, force, and ‘first principles' to a routine politics of interest governed by accepted channels of communication and constitutional procedure" (p. 9). The landed aristocracy in New York grabbed on to every new institution in the public sphere – newspapers, banks and parties – and used them to extend their own dominance. Brooke, in a brilliantly perceptive observation about the bitter conflict between the landed and dependent classes, draws out this conflict in all its bitter permutations and shows how it translates itself into the ideological and partisan conflict between Democrats and Whigs a generation later. Old Republicans and their Democratic heirs sniff at the new civil institutions and reform efforts of their Whig opponents and smell the unwarranted privilege and corruption of the earlier Federalists and Clintonians. To them, the active civil associations that Tocqueville describes "threaten the legacy of the Revolution" (p. 9). Brooke traces this hostility to the fears and suspicions Van Buren and his allies have of the "Money Power." Here Brooke draws us back to the sweeping ideological, economic and psychological explanations of party politics offered by Marvin Meyers, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. and Lee Benson. But Brooke has added his own important components: here the conflict is focused on the public sphere and civil society. In Brooke's skillful handling, we see how this economic, political and ideological tension is played out over newspapers, internal improvements, suffrage extension, women's rights, and antislavery activity. Brooke makes much of the need to focus on "place and particularities" within the national narrative. He suggests that we need to remember that the "national narrative lived [his emphasis] in the host of localities where Americans embody and enact their collective society" (p. 11). He calls for more studies that explore that lived identity as both illustrative and representative examples of some of the divergent trends in the larger national narrative. He makes the bold claim that if "the conflicts and failures of the revolutionary settlement" in Columbia County "illuminate the wider problem on the national stage" since "through the agency of Van Buren's national reach" they were also of national importance. Here I concur wholeheartedly with Brooke. Despite its idiosyncratic features, Columbia County indeed had a powerful shaping role in New York civil life, for the very reason he cites. As a result of Van Buren's rise to national prominence, Columbia County may have played a role in "determining the course of American history writ large." I heartily applaud Brooke's scrupulous attention to local detail – to interests and identities formed in the hill towns and river cities, on the manors and the river docks and in the refined sensibilities of Hudson's newfangled civil society. I am accustomed to making the point that most historians pay too much attention to the national narrative and too little to the fine-grained details of local interest. But in Brooke's hands nearly all politics are local. The one serious difficulty I perceive in this book is Brooke's neglect of the interplay between local and national interests. We do hear something about the interplay of local and national interests in the War of 1812 but there is less attention paid to national issues that divided Republicans and Federalists and Democrats and Whigs: the Embargo, tariffs, and internal improvements, for example. But I think Brooke deserves enormous credit for his very ambitious and successful effort to ground his theoretical model in solid empirical evidence. He complicates our understanding of the conflict between Demo and Aristo. He relates the ebbs and flows of civil societies in Columbia County. He gives us precise information about membership in reform societies and Masonic lodges and he tells us why this matters to civil life. We find out how women ("the fair") negotiated changing boundaries surrounding their participation in public life. He describes the ways in which free people of color found the means to overcome obstacles placed in the way of their greater inclusion in civil life. Brooke gives us an expert analysis of why voting – and armed violence – matter. He is at pains not to offer his readers a simplistic, celebratory narrative of the conflict of Demo and Aristo culminating in the triumph of white man's democracy. Instead what we hear from Brooke is a story of how economic dominance and dependency changed over the course of three generations. His subtle interweaving of political and theoretical information is very impressive. His analysis of what we can learn by examining the operation of a two-tier suffrage, one composed of wealthy landowners and the other composed of anxious small freeholders, tells us a great deal about the changing contours of American democracy from the Revolution to the election of Jackson. In Brooke's skillful rendering, we learn that the contest of Demo and Aristo is just as mutable and perennial as James Madison imagined. Andrew W. Robertson Lehman College, City University of New York Notes  Dixon Ryan Fox, _The Decline of Aristocracy in the Politics of New York, 1801-1840_, (New York: Harper, 1965); Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. _The Age of Jackson_(Boston: Little Brown, 1945); Lee Benson, _The Concept of Jacksonian Democracy: New York as a Test Case_ (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1961; Marvin Meyers, _The Jacksonian Persuasion: Politics and Belief_ (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1957); Alfred F. Young, _The Democratic-Republicans of New York: The Origins, 1763-1797_ (Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 1967); Alan S. Taylor, _William Cooper's Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic_ (New York: Knopf, 1995); Sean Wilentz, _Chants Democratic: New York City and the Rise of the American Working Class, 1788-1850_ (New York: Oxford University Press, 1984); Reeve Huston, _Land and Freedom: Rural Society, Popular Protest and Party Politics in Antebellum New York_ (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000).  Jűrgen Habermas, _The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society_, trans. by Thomas Burger, with Frederick Lawrence; Cambridge, Mass.: M.I.T. Press, 1989; _Between Facts and Norms: Contributions to a Discourse Theory of Law and Democracy_ (Cambridge, Mass.: M.I.T. Press, 1996).  Richard John's presentation was typically wide-ranging and erudite and gave us a rich perspective on the way in which the scholarship of the public sphere intersected with recent scholarship about the role of the 19th-century state. Schudson was an enthusiastic supporter of Habermas' utility, but he focused on the extension of the public sphere during the Gilded Age. Roundtable on "Habermas in the American Context," Organization of American Historians, San Francisco, CA, March, 1997.  David Waldstreicher, _In the Midst of Perpetual Fetes: The Making of American Nationalism_ (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997); Simon Newman, _Parades and Politics of the Streets: Festive Culture in the Early Republic_ (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997); Len Travers, _Celebrating the Fourth: Independence Day and the Rites of Nationalism in the Early Republic_ (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1997); Mary P. Ryan, _Civil Wars: Democracy and Public Life in the American City during the Nineteenth Century_ (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997); Jeffrey L. Pasley, _The "Tyranny of Printers": Newspaper Politics in the Early American Republic_ (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2000).  "Reason and Passion in the Public Sphere: Habermas and the Cultural Historians," _Journal of Interdisciplinary History_ 29 (1998): 43-67.  John L. Brooke, "Consent, Civil Society and the Public Sphere in the Age of Revolution and the Early American Republic," in Jeffrey L. Pasley, Andrew W. Robertson and David Waldstreicher, eds., _Beyond the Founders: New Approaches to the Political History of the Early American Republic_ (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004). ********** Sandra M. Gustafson's Review "Speaking Democracy" In 1766 an anti-rent insurgency broke out in Dutchess County, New York and quickly spread to Columbia County, its neighbor to the north. The leader of this insurgency was William Prendergast, an Irish immigrant from Kilkenny who was a substantial farmer in Quaker Hill, near the Connecticut border. The colonial government responded to the resistance with a show of force, and Prendergast surrendered and was put on trial. Popular discontent over the large landed estates in the Hudson Valley region flared up repeatedly in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In his Littlepage trilogy, James Fenimore Cooper analyzed the conflict from the landowners' perspective. The 1766 insurgency reflected both a chronic disgruntlement over the existence of the large estates and a more specific confusion over land title occasioned by the fact that the crown and the colony had given an area known as the Oblong to different companies. The climate of crisis surrounding the Stamp Act protests probably contributed to the movement. It is tantalizing to consider the possible further motives to action arising from Prendergast's experiences of English oppression in Ireland. The better-known parts of Prendergast's story involve his wife, Mehitabel Wing Prendergast, a Quaker woman from an old Massachusetts family. When William was brought to trial, Mehitabel was at his side in the courtroom, aiding in his defense. The prosecuting attorney found her presence disruptive and asked to have her removed from the courtroom, but the judge denied the motion. After William was found guilty of treason and sentenced to a particularly brutal execution, Mehitabel rode seventy miles on horseback to appeal to the governor. Some say she borrowed a striped dress to wear. Others have her arriving with the governor's reprieve just in time to prevent a group of fifty men from breaking her husband out of jail. She persuaded them to employ legal means to win William's release and successfully appealed to George the Third for a pardon. Later William and Mehitabel left the Hudson River valley, first travelling south to Tennessee. In the early 1800s they returned to New York, settling on Chautauqua Lake, where they purchased 3500 acres and so became large landholders themselves. Their son James Prendergast, who was a toddler during his father's anti-rent activism, founded the City of Jamestown, which takes its name from him. His son built the James Prendergast library, one of the main civic attractions in the city, in 1891. Jamestown later became a magnet for Swedish immigrants, who worked in the furniture industry there. I first heard the story of Mehitabel Wing Prendergast from my grandmother, whose mother was a member of the extended Wing family. Mehitabel's gutsy defense of her husband made for popular local history in the Chautauqua region during the national bicentennial. It was a stirring tale of female eloquence and agency that resonated with the heroic tales of 1776 – though a historian might want to complicate the newspaper account of 1976 by noting that Mehitabel's experiences in the Society of Friends probably contributed to her self-confidence and persuasive powers, and that like many Quakers she was probably a Loyalist, as was William, who owed his life to King George. Mehitabel's tale has been featured in some of the local histories of Dutchess and Chautauqua counties and in a few scholarly works as well. Warren Hugh Wilson appears to be the first academic to have mentioned the story, which appears in his 1907 dissertation for Columbia University, "Quaker Hill: A Sociological Study." In this early sociology of rural life, Wilson discusses the Quaker Hill community as a safe harbor for oppositional movements like the one that Prendergast led. More recently Michael G. Kammen, the prominent cultural historian, called Mehitabel Wing Prendergast "my favorite heroine in all of colonial American history" and argued that "she should not be overlooked by _anyone_." Kammen concludes his version of the story in the imperative mode: "The Prendergasts, but mostly Mehitabel, are what History ought to be about." What could Kammen have meant by this outsized claim? Perhaps he wanted to validate women's history and bring more women into local history organizations. The overall argument of the essay is that American history should emerge from exchanges between the local and the national. John Brooke cites Michael Kammen's other studies of early New York on a few occasions in _Columbia Rising_, and he importantly advances Kammen's imperative to focus on the relationship between local and national histories. And while he does not mention Mehitabel Wing Prendergast, whose activities fall outside his temporal and spatial borders, he does devote significant attention to the place (or non-place) of women, as well as anti-rent activists and African Americans, in the civil society that promised to anchor the revolutionary settlement. Brooke argues that the specific dynamics of Columbia County prevented the creation of a properly functioning civil society that would have provided such an anchor. Class warfare dominated social and political relations in Columbia in ways that it did not elsewhere. Some institutions that might have encouraged a smoother transition to a pluralistic, liberal society – a school, a benevolent organization – failed to thrive in Columbia County, and women's civic agency suffered as a consequence. Other reform movements, particularly those focused on ending slavery, never got off the ground at all. Brooke's ambitious theoretical approach draws on the work of Jürgen Habermas and other theorists of civil society and deliberative democracy. He first adjusts Habermas's paradigm for an American setting, and then shows how and why even after that adjustment the paradigm was never realized in Columbia. The consequences of that failure take on broader meaning because of the vector that moved them from the local arena to the national stage. That vector's name was Martin Van Buren. Brooke argues that Van Buren transferred the aristo-demo conflict to national politics via the institution of the modern Democratic Party. Van Buren understood his party of limited government and restricted citizenship to be the only legitimate party, and his Federalist, National Republican, and Whig opponents to be aristocrats in disguise, advancing their class interests beneath the fig leaves of the American System and the National Bank. He conceived of national politics as class war by other means and set out to make sure his side won. The legitimate aspirations of women and African Americans for full citizenship were irrelevant. This characterization of Van Buren's project responds in important, if indirect, ways to Sean Wilentz's _The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln_ (2005). Wilentz argues that the Jacksonian model of oppositional politics that Van Buren helped institutionalize offered a basic paradigm for extending rights that would later be employed by women and minorities. Wilentz accepts the aristo-demo model (as Arthur Schlesinger did before him) as an accurate description of the central social conflict in the United States. The Whigs actually were a moneyed aristocracy, and contestation was the way the lower classes could protect their rights and liberties. Daniel Walker Howe flips this story on its head in _What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848_ (2007). Here the Democrats are the agents of oppression, marginalizing women, removing Indians, and expanding slavery, while the Whigs work to build a more egalitarian and just society by way of education, moral reform, anti-slavery activism, and other civil society institutions. Brooke's close-grained analysis of Columbia suggests a judgment closer to Howe's, tempered by the realization that an outlier can have a disproportionate impact on a society. Our current political climate resembles Van Buren's party warfare more than the progressive reformism of the Whigs, but the progressives have had their day and will again. My main point of disagreement with Brooke's deeply researched and richly theorized study has to do with his use of the terms "deliberative" and "persuasive." He has written that "the political process unfolds _two different but aligned arenas in the public sphere – a deliberative arena of policy debate and law-making_, running from newspaper reading and table conversation up to the legislatures and courts, and a _persuasive arena of cultural politics_ in the consumption of the media in everyday life." But Aristotle defined deliberative rhetoric as formal speech designed to persuade an audience to take a certain action. Here Habermas, a Kantian who distrusts rhetoric, gets in the way of a clear picture of the political culture of the early republic, which was profoundly Aristotelian by way of Cicero. The distinction between rational deliberation and sentimental persuasion does not hold up, as Brooke himself has at times acknowledged. In the New York Constitutional Convention debates, for example, Melancton Smith offered a theory of political representation grounded in the sympathy between the representative and his constituents; more generally, as Sarah Knott has shown, the discourse of sensibility pervaded Revolutionary-era society. The creation of deliberative democracy involves training people in rhetoric, not teaching them to purge their language of emotion. Frederick Douglass captures this process in his autobiographies, where he describes reading the emotionally powerful dialogue between a master and a slave in _The Columbian Orator_ and then translating it into his life. If the goal of a revolutionary settlement, such as the settlements being worked out now in the Arab Spring countries, is to achieve a stable and inclusive society, one lesson from the early American republic is that it is crucial to create open deliberative arenas and encourage people to develop the persuasive skills to use in them. This training need not be formal. Mehitabel Prendergast seems to have learned the skills that enabled her to persuade a governor and a king at Quaker meeting. Another lesson from the Prendergast tale is the importance of allowing dissenters a way to disengage, at least temporarily. While Martin Van Buren used his association with the anti-rent movement to build a political base that took him to the center of national power, the Prendergasts moved even further to the periphery. When they arrived in southwestern New York around 1800, they settled near the eventual site of Chautauqua Institution, a Methodist camp meeting that rapidly developed into a center for intellectual, religious, and artistic life, with adult education courses and satellite Chautauquas across the country. A family story tells how around 1900 my great-grandmother, Belle Wing Newbury, rowed across Chautauqua Lake to hear Susan B. Anthony speak about woman suffrage at the Institute. The evidence suggests that Anthony was persuasive. Sandra M. Gustafson University of Notre Dame Note  Kammen's version of the Prendergast story appears in "Heritage, Memory, and Hudson Valley Traditions" in the collection _Selvages and Biases: The Fabric of History in American Culture_ (Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1989) on 314-16. He cites books by Carl Carmer and Irving Mark as his sources. Gary B. Nash offers the most thorough reconstruction of the insurrection, while minimizing Mehitabel's role, in _The Unknown American Revolution: The Unruly Birth of Democracy and the Struggle to Create America_ (New York: Penguin, 2005). ********** John Brooke's Reply: I deeply appreciate the work evident in these reviews of _Columbia Rising_ by Andrew Robertson and Sandra Gustafson. They have, in different ways, offered trenchant critiques, while capturing the essential themes of this long book, the dynamics of citizenship in the public sphere in the context of a faltering revolutionary settlement. These were questions that were worked out in every locality across the early republic: who would be included and excluded from public life, how permeable would these civil boundaries be, and how were various forms of political action enacted in these bounded spaces. Both Robertson and Gustafson convey the core of my central narrative, that the local construction of two essential approaches in American public life – improving and monitorial – was refracted by the intensity of a class struggle that ran back deep into the colonial past. Columbia County may have been a somewhat unique place in its compound of conflicted stories of revolution, land struggles, partisan politics, gender, and race. But I hope that my account of this complex tangle in terms of the public sphere of civil society provides a useful window onto the ways in which Americans grappled with revolutionary crisis and its settlement into something like a civil routine. These reviews do, of course, raise some important questions, and I should address them here. One is a point of emphasis, and of the origins of my inquiry. This book had its beginnings thirty-five years ago, when as an undergraduate I saw the possibility of a great story in the land-struggles on the New York-Massachusetts boarder, approached simultaneously with the methods of the community study and the "new political history" – the cutting edge work of the early 1970s. While I was diverted into central New England, and then to another New York story, during the 1980s, a host of powerful new literatures emerged: on women and reform, race and emancipation, on print culture, on sensibility, on public sphere and civil society in the age of revolution. Then, as I was working on an early effort on the public sphere in the early Republic I discovered in the records of the New York Grand Lodge that in 1798 one Benjamin Birdsall, Jr., of Copake, New York, was denied a warrant for Masonic Lodge. In great measure, _Columbia Rising_ revolves around this one revealing hint of a contest over access to privileged institutions in civil society. Birdsall – a leader among tenant insurgents – spend a number of months in close association with Martin Van Buren in 1812, and in the end Van Buren's trajectory into the future – as the county's most famous son – inevitably has come to dominate my story. But let me take this opportunity to say that this is a book with many protagonists – including eventually three Benjamin Birdsalls – and other relatively obscure women and men who acted in Columbia's public sphere stand high in this historian's affections: among them Hannah Barnard of Hudson, Lucy Wright of the New Lebanon Shakers, John McKinistry and Sarah Lampman of Hillsdale, William Tanner of Green River, William Wilson of Clermont, Peter Van Schaack of Kinderhook. This leads me to a point of clarification. Andrew Robertson suggests that I argue that "the roots of Van Buren's ideology lay in the expansion of the state and civil society that began in the late 1790s with the Federalists." Actually, I thought that the roots of this ideology lay in the politics of the 1780s, in the political coalition assembled around Governor George Clinton during and after the Revolution. Clinton and his popular following, among them Captain Abraham Van Buren and Colonel Benjamin Birdsall (fathers of Martin and Benjamin Jr.), built New York's first post-revolutionary party out of the committee and militia networks that Clinton had built during the war, and their aggressive style of public governance was deconstructed by the Federalists when they came to power with John Jay in 1795. The new Federalist emphasis on corporations would formatively shape the public-private fusion that defined Quid-entrepreneurial-National Republican and Whig governance for decades. Certainly Van Buren led Republicans of the "Old" persuasion toward Jacksonian democracy against this new mode of developmental governance. But it was in political style that – as Jerry Leonard has so powerfully argued – explicitly harked back to the militia-populist politics of his father's Revolutionary generation. If Robertson has a complaint, however, it is that I refused to plunge too deeply into "the interplay of local and national interests." So accused, I must plead the fifth, and for good reason. Quite simply, spending too much time on national politics would have taken up a lot of space in an overly-long book, without all that much new insight. Rather than the interplay of nation and locality, I was interested in the neglected interplay of locality and state. My priorities were with participation in, not just exposure to, the public sphere, and David Waldstreicher's trenchant analysis of the rise of party in the early republic convinced me that much of the national story was simply a distant, ethereal shadow story in the real lives of people in the early republic. By Madison's design, very few people in Columbia County ever had any direct participatory role in national politics in Philadelphia or Washington, and perhaps a few hundred – at most – communicated with them about national issues in any meaningful way. But they were deeply and creatively involved in the governance of their state. The ethnography of these interactions is certainly interesting, but it is isolated from the central framework of politics in Columbia County, which involved locality and the state government in Albany. There are many hundreds of books that privilege the national story; I have written a book with a different focus. Sandra Gustafson introduces us to a great Hudson Valley story – that of her distant relation Mehitabel Wing Prendergast -- the heroine of the Dutchess County tenant uprising of 1766. Prendergast and her husband William were sacrificed when I decided to abandon an early plan to write about the entire eastern Hudson Valley from Troy to the Dutchess Oblong. I should have probably tried harder to include them at least in some passing way. More importantly, Gustafson objects to my proposed distinction between deliberation and persuasion, as have a few others among my reviewers. She is particularly concerned, because the orators that she has studied deployed powerfully persuasive rhetoric to achieve deliberative ends. Ultimately, this is an issue of labeling, and my decision (perhaps misguided) a decade ago to appropriate a common-sense term to describe a wide domain of cultural action: the emotive, linguistic, and symbolic action that has become the problem for all of cultural history. I do not argue, as Gustafson suggests that I do, that forms of cultural persuasion were completely excluded from the deliberative process of law-making, but that we should at least try to conceptualize two different arenas of formal deliberative action and informal "persuasive" action. Perhaps I might quote from my own article in _Beyond the Founders_, since it speaks directly to this issue. [W]hat is persuasion? Perhaps I am artificially and arbitrarily restricting the definition of the word, since in common understanding the ‘persuasive' use of language is fundamental to deliberation. But such a violation may help to highlight a series of essential contrasts. If the circumstances of deliberation are necessarily an equality of condition and formality of outcome, those for my definition of persuasion are often an _inequality_ of condition and necessarily an _informality_ of outcome. Thus if deliberation requires equality, persuasion often unfolds in circumstances of inequality as measured by a command of economic, social, or cultural resources. And rather than formal, legal, and binding, a persuasive outcome is informal and often imperceptible. I can actively try to persuade you to change your opinion, perhaps in anticipation of a formal deliberation, but I can also shape, and be shaped by, a host of cultural signals – most powerfully language itself – that set boundaries on the possible. Most importantly, persuasion can be either hegemonic or it can be subversive, and it works most effectively when its operation is invisible to the persuaded. The explication of this entire realm of the persuasive comprises the agenda of cultural history as practiced today. I am told further that I distinguish between "rational deliberation" and sentimental persuasion": these words never appear in these combinations in my book, nor in my _Beyond the Founders_ article. Indeed I try to show in Chapter 6 that the language of sensibility and sympathy was fundamental to the deliberative politics of reform. Perhaps it might help to distinguish between arenas of action and modes of action: thus, as Gustafson argues and I agree, broadly "persuasive" modes are regularly deployed in deliberative arenas. I trust that I am not being overly argumentative here! I want to thank Andy and Sandra for their detailed and challenging reviews, and Brian Luskey and the H-SHEAR Book Forum for the opportunity to engage in this discussion. John Brooke Ohio State University Notes  "Ancient Lodges and Self-Created Societies: Freemasonry and the Public Sphere in the Early Republic," in Ronald Hoffman and Peter J. Albert, eds., _The Beginnings of the 'Extended Republic': The Federalist Era_ (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1996), 273-377.  David Waldstreicher, _In the Midst of Perpetual Fetes: The Making of American Nationalism_ (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997).  I see my book as making a small contribution to the agenda set forth in Jack P. Greene, "Colonial History and National history, Reflections on a Continuing Problem," _William and Mary Quarterly_, 3d ser., 64 (2007), 235-250. But just to set the record straight, _Columbia Rising_ does situate the county's story in relation to the two Banks of the United States and the Embargo; the politics of banking and internal improvements at the state level is discussed throughout the book.  Sandra M. Gustafson, _Imagining Deliberative Democracy in the Early American Republic_ (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011).  "Consent, Civil Society, and the Public Sphere in the Age of Revolution and the Early American Republic," in Jeffrey L. Pasley, Andrew W. Robertson, and David Waldstreicher eds., _Beyond the Founders: New Approaches to the Political History of the Early American Republic_ (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004), 209.  Again, in my record-straightening project, the word "rational" only appears on exactly eight pages in _Columbia Rising¬_, to describe Habermas's formulation of the public sphere [pp. 4-5], in several (mostly quoted) references to and in the printed work of Hannah Barnard [250, 374, 378-380], and in Martin Van Buren's description of the ideal electorate . "Rational" is not a fundamental category in my account of the public sphere.