This chapter presents an introduction to deliberation and offers a genealogy of deliberative democracy exploring the overlap between deliberative democracy theory and neorepublicanism. It discusses the Atlantic world context of the modern republic and its deliberative values by examining three speeches by republican thinkers—Simón Bolívar, Gilbert du Motier de Lafayette, and Daniel Webster. Some of the major sources of deliberative thought in the early American republic and the politics and aesthetics of deliberation in Webster's speeches are described. The chapter focuses on the scenes of deliberation in the novels of Lydia Maria Child and James Fenimore Cooper and offers strategies for deliberative reading, a set of hermeneutic tools intended to stimulate critical awareness of deliberative processes and styles. These tools include a focus on scenes of deliberation and strategies of surrogation and creation of imagined deliberations in which varied perspectives are brought into relation with one another.
Keywords: deliberation, deliberative democracy, republicanism, Simón Bolívar, Gilbert du Motier de Lafayette, Daniel Webster, Lydia Maria Child, James Fenimore Cooper, hermeneutics