Around the time Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre perfected his method for fixing images on polished metal plates in 1839, Harvard was emerging as a modern research institution. Accordingly, the college began amassing vast collections for teaching and research. Among these collections in the university's libraries, museums, archives, and academic departments are some of the earliest photographic documents of American life: daguerreotypes.
A Curious and Ingenious Art brings together a representative sampling of Harvard's internationally significant but relatively unknown collection of daguerreotypes. Many of these images were made for, by, and of members of the university's community and have been in its holdings for more than 150 years. The collection includes the work of some of America's pioneering daguerreotypists, such as Mathew Brady, Southworth and Hawes, and John Adams Whipple. Most notably, the Harvard collection preserved for posterity such faces of the era as Oliver Wendell Holmes, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry James, James McNeill Whistler, Dorothea Dix, Jenny Lind, and even Tom Thumb.
The university also seized upon photography as a tool of scientific research, stunningly exemplified in one of the first detailed daguerreotypes of the moon taken in 1851 as well as in images capturing the emergence of modern anesthesia. An unfortunate misuse of photography is recalled in the now famous slave daguerreotypes commissioned by natural historian Louis Agassiz, who believed in the theory of separate human species.
The Harvard collection represents the early history of photography and its social meaning. The accompanying essays explore the personal, telling histories behind the images, stories that unveil the reflections of individuals who searched for purpose and promise in the new medium.
Reviews of this book: "With this book [Sidney Verba] adds to his series of stimulating and influential studies of values and political life...One wishes that more books in political science these days had a subject as crucial to political life, as rich in comparative empirical data, as creative and sophisticated in methodological approaches, and as original and significant in its insights."
--Ellis S. Krauss, Journal of Public Policy
"Verba and his colleagues have done a fine job of gathering and analyzing data that call seriously into question both the Marxist view that bourgeois societies will inevitably tolerate great income differences and the Tory fear that democracy will inevitably lead to leveling and expropriation...[They] make a convincing case that the U.S. income distribution is as it is in large part because that is the way political elites--even relatively leftist ones--prefer it to be."
--James Q. Wilson, The Public Interest
"This research program has produced and extraordinarily stimulating set of results. But its chief virtue is that it posed conceptually and then pursued empirically the kinds of very broad questions about a central issue in society that are, by definition, bypassed in more narrowly focused research."
In this survey of political participation in seven nations—Nigeria, Austria, Japan, India, the Netherlands, Yugoslavia, and the United States—the authors examine the relationship between social, economic, and educational factors and political participation.
Participation in America represents the largest study ever conducted of the ways in which citizens participate in American political life. Sidney Verba and Norman H. Nie addresses the question of who participates in the American democratic process, how, and with what effects. They distinguish four kinds of political participation: voting, campaigning, communal activity, and interaction with a public official to achieve a personal goal. Using a national sample survey and interviews with leaders in 64 communities, the authors investigate the correlation between socioeconomic status and political participation. Recipient of the Kammerer Award (1972), Participation in America provides fundamental information about the nature of American democracy.
Why, after several generations of suffrage and a revival of the women's movement in the late 1960s, do women continue to be less politically active than men? Why are they less likely to seek public office or join political organizations? The Private Roots of Public Action is the most comprehensive study of this puzzle of unequal participation.
The authors develop new methods to trace gender differences in political activity to the nonpolitical institutions of everyday life--the family, school, workplace, nonpolitical voluntary association, and church. Different experiences with these institutions produce differences in the resources, skills, and political orientations that facilitate participation--with a cumulative advantage for men. In addition, part of the solution to the puzzle of unequal participation lies in politics itself: where women hold visible public office, women citizens are more politically interested and active. The model that explains gender differences in participation is sufficiently general to apply to participatory disparities among other groups--among the young, the middle-aged, and the elderly or among Latinos, African-Americans and Anglo-Whites.
Table of Contents:
1. Introduction: Citizenship and Unequal Participation 2. Studying Gender and Participation: A Brief Discourse on Method 3. Civic Activity: Political and Non-Political 4. The Political Worlds of Men and Women 5. The Legacy of Home and School 6. Domestic Tranquility: The Beliefs of Wives and Husbands 7. Domestic Hierarchy: The Household as a Social System 8. The Workplace Roots of Political Activity 9. The Realm of Voluntarism: Non-Political Associations and Religious Institutions 10. Gender, Institutions, and Political Participation 11. Gender, Race or Ethnicity, and Participation 12. Family Life and Political Life 13. What If Politics Weren't a Man's Game? 14. Conclusion: The Private Roots of Public Action
Appendixes A. Numbers of Cases B. Ranges of Variables C. Supplementary Tables D. Explanation of Outcomes Analysis Index
Reviews of this book: The Private Roots of Public Action begins with common explanations for the gender difference in participation, from domestic demands on women's time and psychic space through the effects of the patriarchal family, socioeconomic hierarchies, and political socialization...The results of [this] novel analysis are complex and interesting...The authors extend their model to examine the relationship between class, race or ethnicity, and political participation. This unique and accessible volume will be influential in the fields of political socialization and gender and politics. Strongly recommended. --B. E. Marston, Choice
The Private Roots of Public Action is the most comprehensive examination of the similarities and differences in the political activity of women and men. The range of inquiry is enormous. Burns, Schlozman and Verba delve not only into political activity but also into the processes in the family, in the workplace, in places of worship, and in voluntary associations that promote and inhibit political involvement. This book goes beyond the literature in connecting to an enormous range of scholarship in political science, economics, and sociology. This is a fine piece of work. --John Mark Hansen, University of Chicago
The Private Roots of Public Action is a very important book. It pushes research on gender and participation to a whole new level, and reshapes the agenda as far as our thinking and our research about the connections among family life, the workplace, institutions of civil society, and political and governmental institutions. The authors demonstrate the importance of understanding political participation within a larger context in a way that does justice to the complexity of people's lives. --Kristi Anderson, Syracuse University
The Private Roots of Public Action is an important contribution to the literature on both political participation and gender politics. Because of its database, its tie-in to the most current work on political participation, and its comprehension of important current questions about gender politics, this book provides a new benchmark for work in this field. In particular, the Civic Voluntarism model developed by Verba, Schlozman, and Brady, and the consideration of how gender difference and inequality might feed into that model, is a unique contribution. This accessible book will be welcomed by gender politics scholars and will have an impact on the field of political participation. --Virginia Sapiro, University of Wisconsin-Madison