Situated on Broadway between Fourteenth and Seventeenth Streets, Union Square occupies a central place in both the geography and the history of New York City. Though this compact space was originally designed in 1830 to beautify a residential neighborhood and boost property values, by the early days of the Civil War, New Yorkers had transformed Union Square into a gathering place for political debate and protest. As public use of the square changed, so, too, did its design. When Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux redesigned the park in the late nineteenth century, they sought to enhance its potential as a space for the orderly expression of public sentiment. A few decades later, anarchists and Communist activists, including Emma Goldman, turned Union Square into a regular gathering place where they would advocate for radical change. In response, a series of city administrations and business groups sought to quash this unruly form of dissidence by remaking the square into a new kind of patriotic space. As Joanna Merwood-Salisbury shows us in Design for the Crowd, the history of Union Square illustrates ongoing debates over the proper organization of urban space—and competing images of the public that uses it.
In this sweeping history of an iconic urban square, Merwood-Salisbury gives us a review of American political activism, philosophies of urban design, and the many ways in which a seemingly stable landmark can change through public engagement and design.
Published with the support of Furthermore: a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund.
In the early twentieth century, Alaska was facing an exciting future as the newest US territory. Yet just five years after its official designation, the country entered World War I and citizens were called to fight. Despite the threat of a looming economic collapse, Alaska sent more people per capita to war than any other state and displayed a patriotism that rivaled that of any of the states.
The Fires of Patriotism explores Alaska’s wartime experience, bringing to light new stories and new characters from a decade that shook the world. This multifaceted book explores the era through engaging stories and rare photos, offering a fresh perspective on World War I from a marginal land that forged its place in the greater unity of the country.
The Great War Comes to Wisconsin examines Wisconsin’s response to World War I, the first "total war" of the twentieth century, a war so large that it engaged virtually everyone.
Instead of a comprehensive history of the battlefield, this book captures the homefront experience: the political debates over war policy, the worry over loved ones fighting overseas, the countless everyday sacrifices, and the impact of a wartime hysteria that drove dissent underground. It also includes the voices of soldiers from Wisconsin’s famed 32nd Division, through extensively quoted letters and newspaper accounts. Immerse yourself in the Wisconsin experience during World War I—a conflict that demonstrated America’s great capacity for sacrifice and generosity, but also for prejudice, intolerance, and injustice.
In Hegel on Political Identity, Lydia Moland provocatively draws on Hegel's political philosophy to engage sometimes contentious contemporary issues such as patriotism, national identity, and cosmopolitanism. Moland argues that patriotism for Hegel indicates an attitude toward the state, whereas national identity is a response to culture. The two combine, Hegel claims, to enable citizens to develop concrete freedom. Moland argues that Hegel's account of political identity extends to his notorious theory of world history; she also proposes that his resistance to cosmopolitanism be reassessed in response to our globalized world. By focusing on Hegel's depiction of political identity as a central part of modern life, Moland shows the potential of Hegel's philosophy to address issues that lie at the heart of ethical and political philosophy.
"Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels" -SAMUEL JOHNSON, 1775
"a tightly reasoned, excellently written book that should be lethally effective in helping readers who aren't experts understand the contours of the crisis." -TOLEDO BLADE
Updated and revised following the 2004 elections, The Last Refuge describes the current state of American politics against the backdrop of mounting ecological and social problems, the corrosive influence of money, the corruption of language, and the misuse of terrorism as a political issue.
Setting out an agenda that transcends conventional ideological labels, David Orr contends that partisan wrangling is only a symptom of a deeper dysfunction: The whole political machinery that connects Americans' fundamentally honorable ideals with public policy is broken. The book offers a withering critique of the failings of the Bush administration, supplemented by new essays that look at the national-level dominance of the Republican Party and examine the fallacy that the evangelical right represents a Christian majority.
After analyzing the challenges of reforming the current system, Orr offers an empowering vision of a second American Revolution that peaceably achieves sustainability and charts a hopeful course for forward-looking citizens.
During the years leading up to World War I, America experienced a crisis of civic identity. How could a country founded on liberal principles and composed of increasingly diverse cultures unite to safeguard individuals and promote social justice? In this book, Jonathan Hansen tells the story of a group of American intellectuals who believed the solution to this crisis lay in rethinking the meaning of liberalism.
Intellectuals such as William James, John Dewey, Jane Addams, Eugene V. Debs, and W. E. B. Du Bois repudiated liberalism's association with acquisitive individualism and laissez-faire economics, advocating a model of liberal citizenship whose virtues and commitments amount to what Hansen calls cosmopolitan patriotism. Rooted not in war but in dedication to social equity, cosmopolitan patriotism favored the fight against sexism, racism, and political corruption in the United States over battles against foreign foes. Its adherents held the domestic and foreign policy of the United States to its own democratic ideals and maintained that promoting democracy universally constituted the ultimate form of self-defense. Perhaps most important, the cosmopolitan patriots regarded critical engagement with one's country as the essence of patriotism, thereby justifying scrutiny of American militarism in wartime.
Walter Berns University of Chicago Press, 2001 Library of Congress JK1759.B47 2001 | Dewey Decimal 320.5409
Although Samuel Johnson once remarked that "patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels," over the course of the history of the United States we have seen our share of heroes: patriots who have willingly put their lives at risk for this country and, especially, its principles. And this is even more remarkable given that the United States is a country founded on the principles of equality and democracy that encourage individuality and autonomy far more readily than public spiritedness and self-sacrifice.
Walter Berns's Making Patriots is a pithy and provocative essay on precisely this paradox. How is patriotism inculcated in a system that, some argue, is founded on self-interest? Expertly and intelligibly guiding the reader through the history and philosophy of patriotism in a republic, from the ancient Greeks through contemporary life, Berns considers the unique nature of patriotism in the United States and its precarious state. And he argues that while both public education and the influence of religion once helped to foster a public-minded citizenry, the very idea of patriotism is currently under attack.
Berns finds the best answers to his questions in the thought and words of Abraham Lincoln, who understood perhaps better than anyone what the principles of democracy meant and what price adhering to them may exact. The graves at Arlington and Gettysburg and Omaha Beach in Normandy bear witness to the fact that self-interested individuals can become patriots, and Making Patriots is a compelling exploration of how this was done and how it might be again.
Between the years 1778 and 1784, groups that had previously been excluded from the Irish political sphere—women, Catholics, lower-class Protestants, farmers, shopkeepers, and other members of the laboring and agrarian classes—began to imagine themselves as civil subjects with a stake in matters of the state. This politicization of non-elites was largely driven by the Volunteers, a local militia force that emerged in Ireland as British troops were called away to the American War of Independence. With remarkable speed, the Volunteers challenged central features of British imperial rule over Ireland and helped citizens express a new Irish national identity.
In A Nation of Politicians, Padhraig Higgins argues that the development of Volunteer-initiated activities—associating, petitioning, subscribing, shopping, and attending celebrations—expanded the scope of political participation. Using a wide range of literary, archival, and visual sources, Higgins examines how ubiquitous forms of communication—sermons, songs and ballads, handbills, toasts, graffiti, theater, rumors, and gossip—encouraged ordinary Irish citizens to engage in the politics of a more inclusive society and consider the broader questions of civil liberties and the British Empire. A Nation of Politicians presents a fascinating tale of the beginnings of Ireland’s richly vocal political tradition at this important intersection of cultural, intellectual, social, and public history.
Winner of the Donald Murphy Prize for Distinguished First Book, American Conference for Irish Studies
Focusing on Seventeenth-Century English political philosophy and Nineteenth-Century American culture, Mark Kann challenges the widely-held view that American political institutions are grounded in the primacy of individualism. Liberal thinkers have long been concerned that men are too passionate and selfish to exercise individual rights without causing social chaos. Kann demonstrates how a desperate search to answer the man question began to revolutionize gender relations He examines "the other liberal tradition in America" which downplays the value of individualism, elevates the ongoing significance of an "engendered civic virtue," and incorporates classical republicanism into the fabric of modern political discourse.
The author traces the cultural conditioning of the white middle class that produced the ideal of self-sacrificing wives whose lives were devoted to creating a haven for their husbands and a school of virtue for their sons. Upon leaving home, these young men were to be schooled in manliness in the military in order to be capable of assuming positions of power as they were vacated by their fathers’ generation. Thus, in the norms of fatherhood, fraternity, womanhood, and militarism, the male’s individualism was conditioned with a strong dose of civic virtue.
Should schools attempt to cultivate patriotism? If so, why? And what conception of patriotism should drive those efforts? Is patriotism essential to preserving national unity, sustaining vigorous commitment to just institutions, or motivating national service? Are the hazards of patriotism so great as to overshadow its potential benefits? Is there a genuinely virtuous form of patriotism that societies and schools should strive to cultivate?
In Patriotic Education in a Global Age, philosopher Randall Curren and historian Charles Dorn address these questions as they seek to understand what role patriotism might legitimately play in schools as an aspect of civic education. They trace the aims and rationales that have guided the inculcation of patriotism in American schools over the years, the methods by which schools have sought to cultivate patriotism, and the conceptions of patriotism at work in those aims, rationales, and methods. They then examine what those conceptions mean for justice, education, and human flourishing. Though the history of attempts to cultivate patriotism in schools offers both positive and cautionary lessons, Curren and Dorn ultimately argue that a civic education organized around three components of civic virtue—intelligence, friendship, and competence—and an inclusive and enabling school community can contribute to the development of a virtuous form of patriotism that is compatible with equal citizenship, reasoned dissent, global justice, and devotion to the health of democratic institutions and the natural environment. Patriotic Education in a Global Age mounts a spirited defense of democratic institutions as it situates an understanding of patriotism in the context of nationalist, populist, and authoritarian movements in the United States and Europe, and will be of interest to anyone concerned about polarization in public life and the future of democracy.
"A meticulous, well-tuned examination of what Janowitz says is the decline of civic thought in America, and what might be done to restore it. . . . The patriotism Janowitz proposes to reconstruct is not the sort of narrow nationalism your political science professor may have warned you about—patriotism as 'the last refuge of a scoundrel.' It is instead a patriotism that intelligently appreciates life in a (however imperfect) democratic land."—Robert Marquand, The Christian Science Monitor
"In The Reconstruction of Patriotism, Morris Janowitz . . . places a national-service program on the national agenda. . . . Like William James, Janowitz envisions government enrolling young people to work for a year or two at subsistence pay, doing jobs that benefit society—working with, say, 'conservation, health, or old-age problems.' He believes that we need a service program because since the end of the Second World War our citizens (and, indeed, citizens of almost all the advanced industrial nations) have become more keenly aware of their rights than of their obligations, and generations are growing up with little or no understanding that they are members of a national community and have responsibilities to it—that they must give as well as take. . . . Because it reopens discussion of our wider obligations and how to fulfill them, Mr. Janowitz's thoughtful book is in itself a national service."—Naomi Bliven, The New Yorker
"Morris Janowitz examines an issue that seldom is subject to social and political analysis—patriotism. His thesis is clear: The long-term trend in politics has been to enhance citizen rights without effective articulation of citizen obligations. A meaningful balance between the two, he contends, must be restored. . . . The strength of this study lies in Janowitz's persuasive argument that the durability and vitality of democratic institutions require that a sense of community, or shared values, be preserved. Without civiz consciousness, he rightly observes, social and political fragmentation ensues. . . . A lucid and impressively researched polemic."—W. Wesley McDonald, American Political Science Review
"Janowitz addresses a seminal issue: how to restore the sense of shared civic responsibility that has fallen victim in recent years to our growing preoccupation with individual rights and the rise of special-interest groups. . . . Central to his prescription is the revival of the concept of the citizen soldier, whose importance since pre-Revolutionary War days Janoqitz discusses at length. He concludes, 'There can be no reconstruction of patriotism without a system of national service.' . . . An important book. I highly recommend it."—Washington Monthly
Over the twentieth century, American Indians fought for their right to be both American and Indian. In an illuminating book, Paul C. Rosier traces how Indians defined democracy, citizenship, and patriotism in both domestic and international contexts. Like African Americans, twentieth-century Native Americans served as a visible symbol of an America searching for rights and justice. American history is incomplete without their story.
During the second half of the eighteenth century, the social role of educated
women and the nature of domesticity were the focus of widespread debate in Britain. The emergence of an identifiably feminist voice in that debate is the subject of Harriet Guest's new study, which explores how small changes in the meaning of patriotism and the relations between public and private categories permitted educated British women to imagine themselves as political subjects.
Small Change considers the celebration of learned women as tokens of national progress in the context of a commercial culture that complicates notions of gender difference. Guest offers a fascinating account of the women of the bluestocking circle, focusing in particular on Elizabeth Carter, hailed as the paradigmatic learned and domestic woman. She discusses the importance of the American war to the changing relation between patriotism and gender in the 1770s and 1780s, and she casts new light on Mary Wollstonecraft's writing of the 1790s, considering it in relation to the anti-feminine discourse of Hannah More, and the utopian feminism of Mary Hays.
Staging Philanthropy is a history of women's philanthropic associations during Germany's "long" nineteenth century. Challenged by the French Revolution and the Napoleonic occupation and war, dynastic groups in Germany made community welfare and its defense part of newly-gendered social obligations, sponsoring a network of state women's associations, philanthropic institutions, and nursing orders which were eventually coordinated by the German Red Cross. These patriotic groups helped fashion an official nationalism that defended conservative power and authority in the new nation-state.
An original and truly multi-disciplinary work, Staging Philanthropy uses archival research to reconstruct the neglected history of women's philanthropic organizations during the 'long' nineteenth century. Borrowing from cultural anthropologists, Jean Quataert explores how meaning is created in the theater of politics. Linking gender with nationalism and war with humanitarianism, Quataert weaves her analysis together with themes of German historiography and the wider context of European history.
Staging Philanthropy will interest readers in German history, women's history, politics and anthropology, as well as those whose interest is in medicalization and the German Red Cross. This book situates itself in the middle of a string of debates pertaining to modern German history and, thus, should also appeal to readers from the general educated public.
Jean Quataert is Professor of History and Women's Studies, Binghamton University. She has previously published a number of books, including Connecting Spheres: European Women in a Globalizing World, 1500 to the Present with Marilyn J. Boxer (Oxford, 1999).
The Truth about Patriotism
Steven Johnston Duke University Press, 2007 Library of Congress JK1759.J74 2007 | Dewey Decimal 323.650973
The Truth about Patriotism is a bracing repudiation of the claim that patriotism is essential—or even beneficial—to democracy. Contending that even at its best patriotism subverts the democracy it purports to value, Steven Johnston turns to patriotism’s defenders to show how they must jettison much of democracy to champion patriotism. Closely examined, patriotism itself effectively demonstrates the impossibility of love of country. Patriotism, Johnston argues, tends toward narcissistic self-regard, blind to its violent ways of being in the world and its dependence on death. Thus we would be better off without it.
Drawing largely from aspects of American political and popular culture, this wide-ranging book presents a wealth of examples to disclose patriotism’s self-defeating character. They include Richard Rorty’s and John Schaar’s enmity-driven love of country, Socrates’s angry judicial suicide, the violent obsessions of High Noon and Saving Private Ryan, the triumphalist self-display of the World War II Memorial, Oliver Stone’s and Don DeLillo’s spectacular representations of the assassination of President Kennedy, George W. Bush’s symbolic sacrifice of more Americans in commemoration of September 2001, and yet other memorials to and apologies for patriotism. Ultimately, Johnston calls for a vision of democracy that uses the tragic possibilities inherent in politics as a spur to a life-affirming civic ethos of reciprocal generosity.