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The Good Citizen By Michael Schudson

The Good Citizen by Michael Schudson

Condition - Very Good
$41.99
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Summary

In this history of citizenship in America, the author argues that popular sovereignty in America is not necessarily a failure. The text seeks to counter claims that American civic life has declined because participation in traditional civically oriented associations has declined.

The Good Citizen Summary

The Good Citizen: A History of American Civic Life by Michael Schudson

In 1996, less than half of all eligible voters bothered to vote. Fewer citizens each year follow government and public affairs regularly. Is popular sovereignty a failure? Not necessarily, argues Michael Schudson in this history of citizenship in America. This work sees American politics as evolving from a "politics of assent" in colonial times and the 18th century, in which voting generally reaffirmed the social hierarchy of the community; to a "politics of affiliation" in the 19th century, in which party loyalty was paramount for the good citizen. Progressive reforms around the turn of the century reduced the power of parties and increased the role of education, making way for the "informed citizen", which remains the ideal in American civil life at the end of the 20th century. A fourth model, "the rights-bearing citizen", supplements the "informed citizen" model and makes the courthouse as well as the voting booth a channel for citizenship. From the Civil Rights movement on, rights-consciousness has thrust politics into everyday life. This message seeks to counter recent claims that American civic life has declined because participation in traditional civically oriented associations has declined.

The Good Citizen Reviews

A splendid book. -- George F. Will "Newsweek"
A superb new book. -- Robert Samuelson "Washington Post"
An excellent book...Americans beyond the academy of specialists would profit from reading this comprehensive effort to understand just what good citizenship means and has meant for Americans from the colonial period to the millennium...Schudson is original and convincing...he is innovative, perceptive, and--especially on today's culture--controversial. -- Jean Harvey Baker "American Historical Review"
America clings to an array of historically derived ideals of citizen participation--18th-century town-hall meetings, 19th-century mass parties, early 20th-century direct democracy--even though it cannot possibly live up to all at once. These are the 'successive coats that laminate our political ideals, ' as Mr. Schudson puts it; and each coat is tattered, so that the earlier ones show through. It is reassuring to find Mr. Schudson pleading that 'We can gain inspiration from the past, but we cannot import it.' It would be even better if his countrymen read his book.
The Good Citizen is an admirable, consistently interesting attempt to lay out with some factual and conceptual precision the history of an issue usually discussed in platitudes...an extremely valuable book.
[A] splendid book. -- George F. Will "Newsweek"
[An] excellent book...Americans beyond the academy of specialists would profit from reading this comprehensive effort to understand just what good citizenship means and has meant for Americans from the colonial period to the millennium...Schudson is original and convincing...he is innovative, perceptive, and--especially on today's culture--controversial.--Jean Harvey Baker "American Historical Review "
Schudson's argument is daring, persuasive, and refreshing. He draws a vast range of scholarship into a 300-page account of the shifting standards of good citizenship..."The Good Citizen" is synthetic scholarship designed to influence public debate of the sort so many historians call for but so few have produced. It deserves both the careful consideration of scholars and the wide audience it seeks...There is much to welcome in this book, especially because it challenges the facile historical assumptions that inform current discussions of civic declension...This [is a] rich and stimulating book. [Schudson] provides a superb model of scholarly citizenship and effectively restores historical perspective to what has often been an ahistorical public conversation.--James J. Connolly "Reviews in American History "
A superb new book.--Robert Samuelson "Washington Post "
Michael Schudson has taken on the daunting task of trying to make sense of how citizenship has evolved and where it might be headed. His "The Good Citizen" is a thoughtful, carefully constructed mix of history and prognosis. His analysis is realistic; he offers no panacea...Looming over America's future is uncertainty about how nonchalant people can become before their democracy is severely damaged. Mr. Schudson says of this, 'There is surely some line of willful ignorance that, once crossed, crosses out democracy itself.' We have heard such warnings before. Mr. Schudson renews them eloquently. He deserves an attentive audience.--Philip Seib "Dallas Morning News "
"The Good Citizen" is an admirable, consistently interesting attempt to lay out with some factual and conceptual precision the history of an issue usually discussed in platitudes...an extremely valuable book.--Nicholas Lemann "Washington Monthly "
[A] splendid book.--George F. Will "Newsweek "

Additional information

GOR003479261
9780674356405
0674356403
The Good Citizen: A History of American Civic Life by Michael Schudson
Used - Very Good
Paperback
Harvard University Press
1999-08-27
402
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us

Customer Reviews - The Good Citizen