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The good citizen : a history of American civic life

Author: Michael Schudson
Publisher: New York : Martin Kessler Books, ©1998.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
In 1996 less than half of all eligible voters even bothered to vote. Fewer citizens each year follow government and public affairs regularly or even think they should. Is popular sovereignty a failure? Not necessarily, argues Michael Schudson in this provocative and unprecedented history of citizenship in America. Measuring voter turnout or attitudes is a poor approximation of citizenship. The meaning of voting -
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Genre/Form: History
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Schudson, Michael.
Good citizen.
New York : Martin Kessler Books, ©1998
(OCoLC)606978471
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Michael Schudson
ISBN: 9780684827292 0684827298 9781451631623 1451631626
OCLC Number: 38964203
Description: 390 pages ; 25 cm
Contents: ch. 1. Colonial origins of American political practice: 1690-1787 --
ch. 2. Constitutional moment: 1787-1801 --
ch. 3. Democratic transition in American political life: 1801-1865 --
Entr' acte I: the public world of the Lincoln-Douglas debates --
ch. 4. Second transformation of American citizenship: 1865-1920 --
ch. 5. Cures for democracy? civil religion, leadership, expertise, and more democracy --
Entr' acte II: second great debate --
ch. 6. Widening the web of citizenship in an age of private citizens.
Responsibility: Michael Schudson.
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Abstract:

In 1996 less than half of all eligible voters even bothered to vote. Fewer citizens each year follow government and public affairs regularly or even think they should. Is popular sovereignty a failure? Not necessarily, argues Michael Schudson in this provocative and unprecedented history of citizenship in America. Measuring voter turnout or attitudes is a poor approximation of citizenship. The meaning of voting - and what counts as politics - has changed dramatically over the course of our history.

Today, political participation takes place in schools, at home, at work, and in the courts. We have made "informed citizenship" an overwhelming task. Schudson argues that it is time for a new model, in which we stop expecting everyone to do everything. The new citizenship must rest on citizens who are monitors of political danger rather than walking encyclopedias of governmental news. This tour of the past makes it possible to imagine a very different - and much more satisfying - future.

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Todd Gitlin "Author of "The Sixties: Years Of Hope, Days Of Rage" In his characteristically countercyclical way, Michael Schudson gives us a lucid, shrewd argument that democracy is "not" in Read more...

 
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