A Storied Shooting

  title={A Storied Shooting},
  author={Joshua Foa Dienstag},
  journal={Political Theory},
  pages={290 - 318}
  • J. Dienstag
  • Published 9 March 2012
  • Sociology
  • Political Theory
A variety of theorists have emphasized the paradox at the center of democratic legal authority, viz., that it cannot be self-derived but must ultimately rest on some extra-legal phenomenon, usually an act of exclusion. John Ford’s The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance examines precisely this paradoxical situation and, I argue, actually suggests a novel response that has escaped theorists who have considered the problem in the past. The film’s best-known line (“print the legend”) in fact represents… 
6 Citations
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The Democratic Paradox
From the theory of 'deliberative democracy' to the politics of the 'third way', the present Zeitgeist is characterized by attempts to deny what Chantal Mouffe contends is the inherently conflictual
Emergency Politics (Princeton, NJ
  • 2009
Ford personally bought the rights to the story from Johnson and commis- sioned the script
  • Who Shot Liberty Valance’ and Infinite Reference," Theory & Event 12, no
  • 2009
Why It Is Tough to the Second-Toughest Guy in a Tough Town: John Ford’s The Man
  • Who Shot Liberty Valance,” in Print the Legend: Politics, Culture and Civic Virtue in the Films of John Ford, ed. Sidney Pearson (Lexing- ton, KY: Lexington Books,
  • 2009
Pessimism: Philosophy, Ethic, Spirit (Princeton, NJ
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Tom Doniphon" is "Bert Barricune" and more clearly Ransom's enemy while Liberty Valance is an abstraction who hardly appears in the story at all
  • The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
  • 2005
The Democratic Paradox (New York: Verso
  • 2000
For a slightly different perspective, see William Darby
  • John Ford's Westerns
  • 1996