During the 1990s and early 2000s in Europe, more than fifty historical commissions were created to confront, discuss, and document the genocide of the Holocaust and to address some of its unresolved injustices. Amending the Past offers the first in-depth account of these commissions, examining the complexities of reckoning with past atrocities and large-scale human rights violations.
Alexander Karn analyzes more than a dozen Holocaust commissions—in Germany, Switzerland, France, Poland, Austria, Latvia, Lithuania, and elsewhere—in a comparative framework, situating each in the context of past and present politics, to evaluate their potential for promoting justice and their capacity for bringing the perspectives of rival groups more closely together. Karn also evaluates the media coverage these commissions received and probes their public reception from multiple angles.
Arguing that historical commissions have been underused as a tool for conflict management, Karn develops a program for historical mediation and moral reparation that can deepen democratic commitment and strengthen human rights in both transitional regimes and existing liberal states.
Women from all over Arkansas—left out of the civil rights granted by the post–Civil War Reconstruction Amendments—took part in a long struggle to gain the primary civil right of American citizens: voting. The state’s capital city of Little Rock served as the focal point not only for suffrage work in Arkansas, but also for the state’s contribution to the nationwide nonviolent campaign for women’s suffrage that reached its climax between 1913 and 1920. Based on original research, Cahill’s book relates the history of some of those who contributed to this victorious struggle, reveals long-forgotten photographs, includes a map of the locations of meetings and rallies, and provides a list of Arkansas suffragists who helped ensure that discrimination could no longer exclude women from participation in the political life of the state and nation.
"As a study of modern
American political culture, Beyond Left and Right gets high marks.
This is an extremely readable book. It should quickly become a basic source,
especially beneficial to scholars who are researching modern American
political history. Lay readers with an interest in American politics should
find it informative and accessible. Horowitz explains his ideas in clear
direct prose, free of jargon." -- LeRoy Ashby, author of William Jennings Bryan: Champion of Democracy Beyond Left and Right
is a sweeping overview of political insurgency in the United States from
the 1880s to the present. It is at once a stunning synthesis, drawing
on a large number of scholarly works, and an ambitious and original piece
of research. The book ranges over diverse individuals and groups that
have attacked the established order, from the left and the right, from
the Populists of the 1890s to Ross Perot and the religious right of our
times, dealing along the way with non-interventionists, Klans, monetary
radicals, McCarthyites, Birchers, and Reaganites, among many others.
Black or Right: Anti/Racist Campus Rhetorics explores notions of Blackness in white institutional—particularly educational—spaces. In it, Louis M. Maraj theorizes how Black identity operates with/against ideas of difference in the age of #BlackLivesMatter. Centering Blackness in frameworks for antiracist agency through interdisciplinary Black feminist lenses, Black or Right asks how those racially signifying “diversity” in US higher education (and beyond) make meaning in the everyday.
Offering four Black rhetorics as antiracist means for rhetorical reclamation—autoethnography, hashtagging, inter(con)textual reading, and reconceptualized disruption—the book uses Black feminist relationality via an African indigenous approach. Maraj examines fluid, quotidian ways Black folk engage anti/racism at historically white institutions in the United States in response to violent campus spaces, educational structures, protest movements, and policy practice. Black or Right’s experimental, creative style strives to undiscipline knowledge from academic confinement. Exercising different vantage points in each chapter—autoethnographer, digital media scholar/pedagogue, cultural rhetorician, and critical discourse analyst—Maraj challenges readers to ecologically understand shifting, multiple meanings of Blackness in knowledge-making. Black or Right’s expressive form, organization, narratives, and poetics intimately interweave with its argument that Black folk must continuously invent “otherwise” in reiterative escape from oppressive white spaces.
In centering Black experiences, Black theory, and diasporic Blackness, Black or Right mobilizes generative approaches to destabilizing institutional whiteness, as opposed to reparative attempts to “fix racism,” which often paradoxically center whiteness. It will be of interest to both academic and general readers and significant for specialists in cultural rhetorics, Black studies, and critical theory.
Consumers of American media find themselves in a news world that has shifted toward more conservative reporting. This book takes a measured, historical view of the shift, addressing factors that include the greater skill with which conservatives have used the media, the media’s gradual trend toward conservatism, the role of religion, and the effects of media conglomeration. The book makes the case that the media have managed to not only enable today’s conservative resurgence but also ignore, largely, the consequences of that change for the American people.
To be or not to be—who asks this question today, and how? What does it mean to issue, or respond to, an appeal for the right to die? In A Death of One’s Own, the first sustained literary study of the right to die, Jared Stark takes up these timely questions by testing predominant legal understandings of assisted suicide and euthanasia against literary reflections on modern death from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Rigorously interdisciplinary and lucidly argued, Stark’s wide-ranging discussion sheds critical light on the disquieting bioethical and biopolitical dilemmas raised by contemporary forms of medical technology and legal agency.
More than a survey or work of advocacy, A Death of One’s Own examines the consequences and limits of the three reasons most often cited for supporting a person’s right to die: that it is justified as an expression of personal autonomy or self-ownership; that it constitutes an act of self-authorship, of “choosing a final chapter” in one’s life; and that it enables what has come to be called “death with dignity.” Probing the intersections of law and literature, Stark interweaves close discussion of major legal, political, and philosophical arguments with revealing readings of literary and testimonial texts by writers including Balzac, Melville, Benjamin, and Améry.
A thought-provoking work that will be of interest to those concerned with law and humanities, biomedical ethics, cultural history, and human rights, A Death of One’s Own opens new and suggestive paths for thinking about the history of modern death as well as the unsettled future of the right to die.
In 1920, socialist leader Eugene V. Debs ran for president while serving a ten-year jail term for speaking against America’s role in World War I. Though many called Debs a traitor, others praised him as a prisoner of conscience, a martyr to the cause of free speech. Nearly a million Americans agreed, voting for a man whom the government had branded an enemy to his country.
In a beautifully crafted narrative, Ernest Freeberg shows that the campaign to send Debs from an Atlanta jailhouse to the White House was part of a wider national debate over the right to free speech in wartime. Debs was one of thousands of Americans arrested for speaking his mind during the war, while government censors were silencing dozens of newspapers and magazines. When peace was restored, however, a nationwide protest was unleashed against the government’s repression, demanding amnesty for Debs and his fellow political prisoners. Led by a coalition of the country’s most important intellectuals, writers, and labor leaders, this protest not only liberated Debs, but also launched the American Civil Liberties Union and changed the course of free speech in wartime.
The Debs case illuminates our own struggle to define the boundaries of permissible dissent as we continue to balance the right of free speech with the demands of national security. In this memorable story of democracy on trial, Freeberg excavates an extraordinary episode in the history of one of America’s most prized ideals.
Excavating Marx’s early writings to rethink the rights of the poor and the idea of the commons in an era of unprecedented privatization
The politics of dispossession are everywhere. Troubling developments in intellectual property, genomics, and biotechnology are undermining established concepts of property, while land appropriation and ecological crises reconfigure basic institutions of ownership. In The Dispossessed, Daniel Bensaïd examines Karl Marx’s early writings to establish a new framework for addressing the rights of the poor, the idea of the commons, and private property as a social institution.
In his series of articles from 1842–43 about Rhineland parliamentary debates over the privatization of public lands and criminalization of poverty under the rubric of the “theft of wood,” Marx identified broader anxieties about customary law, property rights, and capitalist efforts to privatize the commons. Bensaïd studies these writings to interrogate how dispossession continues to function today as a key modality of power. Brilliantly tacking between past and present, The Dispossessed discloses continuity and rupture in our relationships to property and, through that, to one another.
In addition to Bensaïd’s prescient work of political philosophy, The Dispossessed includes new translations of Marx’s original “theft of wood” articles and an introductory essay by Robert Nichols that lucidly contextualizes the essays.
Across the United States tens of millions of people are working forty or more hours a week...and living in poverty. This is surprising in a country where politicians promise that anyone who does their share, and works hard, will get ahead. In Ending Poverty As We Know It, William Quigley argues that it is time to make good on that promise by adding to the Constitution language that insures those who want to work can do so—and at a wage that enables them to afford reasonable shelter, clothing, and food.
How did the global Cold War influence American politics at home? For Might and Right traces the story of how Cold War defense spending remade participatory politics, producing a powerful and dynamic political coalition that reached across party lines. This "Cold War coalition" favored massive defense spending over social welfare programs, bringing together a diverse array of actors from across the nation, including defense workers, community boosters, military contractors, current and retired members of the armed services, activists, and politicians. Faced with neoliberal austerity and uncertainty surrounding America's foreign policy after the 1960s, increased military spending became a bipartisan solution to create jobs and stimulate economic growth, even in the absence of national security threats.
Using a rich array of archival sources, Michael Brenes draws important connections between economic inequality and American militarism that enhance our understanding of the Cold War's continued impact on American democracy and the resilience of the military-industrial complex, up to the age of Donald Trump.
What does it mean to be a religious conservative, particularly for women, in America today? While it appears that people are returning to conservative religion because they are fed up with the excesses of liberalism, including feminism, a closer look at the lives of religious conservatives reveals a more complex reality. Drawing on two years of ethnographic research in Catholic, Jewish, and Protestant communities, Christel Manning explores the diversity among women who have returned to tradition. Arguing that America has undergone profound cultural and economic changes in the last thirty years, which create tension between women's lives and traditional gender roles, she demonstrates that conservative Catholics, Orthodox Jews, and Evangelical Protestants negotiate those tensions in different ways. Manning also shows that women in conservative religious communities share many of the same concerns as secular women.
Manning looks at how the religious communities profiled have been influenced by feminist values and describes the ways in which these women negotiate gender roles at work, religious services, and at home. She explains how they deal with the inconsistencies created by their attempts to integrate feminist and traditionalist norms. In highly accessible prose, Manning examines their attitudes towards the feminist movement, its impact on American culture, and the extent to which the women seek to resist it. God Gave Us the Right explains how these different views of feminism reflect the diverse theologies and historical experiences of the three communities.
To observe a dog's guilty look.
to witness a gorilla's self-sacrifice for a wounded mate, to watch an elephant herd's communal effort on behalf of a stranded calf--to catch animals in certain acts is to wonder what moves them. Might there he a code of ethics in the animal kingdom? Must an animal be human to he humane? In this provocative book, a renowned scientist takes on those who have declared ethics uniquely human Making a compelling case for a morality grounded in biology, he shows how ethical behavior is as much a matter of evolution as any other trait, in humans and animals alike.
World famous for his brilliant descriptions of Machiavellian power plays among chimpanzees-the nastier side of animal life--Frans de Waal here contends that animals have a nice side as well. Making his case through vivid anecdotes drawn from his work with apes and monkeys and holstered by the intriguing, voluminous data from his and others' ongoing research, de Waal shows us that many of the building blocks of morality are natural: they can he observed in other animals. Through his eyes, we see how not just primates but all kinds of animals, from marine mammals to dogs, respond to social rules, help each other, share food, resolve conflict to mutual satisfaction, even develop a crude sense of justice and fairness.
Natural selection may be harsh, but it has produced highly successful species that survive through cooperation and mutual assistance. De Waal identifies this paradox as the key to an evolutionary account of morality, and demonstrates that human morality could never have developed without the foundation of fellow feeling our species shares with other animals. As his work makes clear, a morality grounded in biology leads to an entirely different conception of what it means to he human--and humane.
A timely and multifaceted portrait of the lawyers who serve the diverse constituencies of the conservative movement, Lawyers of the Right explains what unites and divides lawyers for the three major groups—social conservatives, libertarians, and business advocates—that have coalesced in recent decades behind the Republican Party.
Drawing on in-depth interviews with more than seventy lawyers who represent conservative and libertarian nonprofit organizations, Ann Southworth explores their values and identities and traces the implications of their shared interest in promoting political strategies that give lawyers leading roles. She goes on to illuminate the function of mediator organizations—such as the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy—that have succeeded in promoting cooperation among different factions of conservative lawyers. Such cooperation, she finds, has aided efforts to drive law and the legal profession politically rightward and to give lawyers greater prominence in the conservative movement. Southworth concludes, though, that tensions between the conservative law movement’s elite and populist elements may ultimately lead to its undoing.
Politicians and pundits have long disparaged their opponents with polemicist cries of "leftist!" or "rightist!" But with the fall of communism and the recent conservative ascendancy in the United States and Europe, many commentators have flatly declared that the traditional left/right distinction has lost its relevance. Now, even as political players scramble to redefine themselves with freshly "spun" labels, Norberto Bobbio asserts that the demise of the left/right distinction has been greatly exaggerated.
Bobbio argues that left and right are not absolute terms, but represent a shifting map of the political spectrum, relative to the particular cultural and historical contexts of a given time. The distinction continues to endure because it reflects the essentially antithetical nature and dynamics of democratic politics. In his accessible yet provocative style, Bobbio constructs a historically informed, analytic division of the political universe along two foundational axes, from equality to inequality, from liberty to authoritarianism. He then charts the past and present tendencies of the left and the right, in both their more moderate and more virulently extreme forms. Ultimately, for Bobbio, the measure of post-modern democracy will indeed lie in where and how we situate ourselves relative to these critical left/right parameters, in whether we cast ourselves, our votes, and our era in terms of political expediency, social viability, or moral responsibility.
A bestseller in Italy, where it sold over three hundred thousand copies, Left and Right is an important contribution to our understanding of global political developments in the 1990s and beyond.
The left is supposed to be opposed to colonialism and at least skeptical of nationalism. However, Left, Right shows that, for decades now, this hasn’t been the case in Canada. Yves Engler marshals damning detail on the long, surprising history of support from the New Democratic Party and labor unions for such policies and international interventions as the coup in Haiti, the assassination of Patrice Lumumba, the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Korean War, and much more. The rhetoric of the mainstream left, he shows, has also tended to concede major points to the dominant war-mongering ideology, with prominent commentators such as Linda McQuaig and Stephen Lewis echoing the terminology of right-wing politicians and thinkers. More than simply diagnosing a problem, however, Left, Right offers a path forward, laying out ways to get us working for an ecologically sound, peace-promoting, and non-exploitative foreign policy.
What makes a government legitimate? Arthur Isak Applbaum rigorously argues that the greatest threat to democracies today is not loss of basic rights or despotism. It is the tyranny of unreason: domination of citizens by incoherent, inconstant, incontinent rulers. A government that cannot govern itself cannot legitimately govern others.
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." —Amendment II, United States Constitution
The Second Amendment is regularly invoked by opponents of gun control, but H. Richard Uviller and William G. Merkel argue the amendment has nothing to contribute to debates over private access to firearms. In The Militia and the Right to Arms, or, How the Second Amendment Fell Silent, Uviller and Merkel show how postratification history has sapped the Second Amendment of its meaning. Starting with a detailed examination of the political principles of the founders, the authors build the case that the amendment's second clause (declaring the right to bear arms) depends entirely on the premise set out in the amendment's first clause (stating that a well-regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state). The authors demonstrate that the militia envisioned by the framers of the Bill of Rights in 1789 has long since disappeared from the American scene, leaving no lineal descendants. The constitutional right to bear arms, Uviller and Merkel conclude, has evaporated along with the universal militia of the eighteenth century.
Using records from the founding era, Uviller and Merkel explain that the Second Amendment was motivated by a deep fear of standing armies. To guard against the debilitating effects of militarism, and against the ultimate danger of a would-be Caesar at the head of a great professional army, the founders sought to guarantee the existence of well-trained, self-armed, locally commanded citizen militia, in which service was compulsory. By its very existence, this militia would obviate the need for a large and dangerous regular army. But as Uviller and Merkel describe the gradual rise of the United States Army and the National Guard over the last two hundred years, they highlight the nation's abandonment of the militia ideal so dear to the framers. The authors discuss issues of constitutional interpretation in light of radically changed social circumstances and contrast their position with the arguments of a diverse group of constitutional scholars including Sanford Levinson, Carl Bogus, William Van Alstyne, and Akhil Reed Amar.
Espousing a centrist position in the polarized arena of Second Amendment interpretation, this book will appeal to those wanting to know more about the amendment's relevance to the issue of gun control, as well as to those interested in the constitutional and political context of America's military history.
Today, when a single person can turn an airplane into a guided missile, no one objects to rigorous security before flying. But can the state simply declare some people too dangerous to travel, ever and anywhere? Does the Constitution protect a fundamental right to travel? Should the mode of travel (car, plane, or boat) or itinerary (domestic or international) make a constitutional difference? This book explores the legal and policy questions raised by government travel restrictions, from passports and rubber stamps to computerized terrorist watchlists.
In tracing the history and scope of U.S. travel regulations, Jeffrey Kahn begins with the fascinating story of Mrs. Ruth Shipley, a federal employee who almost single-handedly controlled access to passports during the Cold War. Kahn questions how far national security policies should go and whether the government should be able to declare some individuals simply too dangerous to travel. An expert on constitutional law, Kahn argues that U.S. citizens’ freedom to leave the country and return is a fundamental right, protected by the Constitution.
Who was responsible for the crimes of the Nazis? Party leaders and members? Rank-and-file soldiers and bureaucrats? Ordinary Germans? This question looms over German disputes about the past like few others. It also looms over the art and architecture of postwar Germany in ways that have been surprisingly neglected. In The Nazi Perpetrator, Paul B. Jaskot fundamentally reevaluates pivotal developments in postwar German art and architecture against the backdrop of contentious contemporary debates over the Nazi past and the difficulty of determining who was or was not a Nazi perpetrator.
Like their fellow Germans, postwar artists and architects grappled with the Nazi past and the problem of defining the Nazi perpetrator—a problem that was thoroughly entangled with contemporary conservative politics and the explosive issue of former Nazis living in postwar Germany. Beginning with the formative connection between Nazi politics and art during the 1930s, The Nazi Perpetrator traces the dilemma of identifying the perpetrator across the entire postwar period. Jaskot examines key works and episodes from West Germany and, after 1989, reunified Germany, showing how the changing perception of the perpetrator deeply impacted art and architecture, even in cases where artworks and buildings seem to have no obvious relation to the Nazi past. The book also reinterprets important periods in the careers of such major figures as Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer, and Daniel Libeskind.
Combining political history with a close analysis of specific works, The Nazi Perpetrator powerfully demonstrates that the ongoing influence of Nazi Germany after 1945 is much more central to understanding a wide range of modern German art and architecture than cultural historians have previously recognized.
“Rac(e)ing to the Right is a great read and brings overdue attention to one of the most popular and controversial African American writers in history. . . . These writings reveal both the presence and the limits of conservatism in the African American intellectual tradition.”—Jeffrey A. Tucker, University of Rochester
From the 1920s to the 1970s, George S. Schuyler was one of the country’s most prolific—and controversial—observers of African American life. As journalist, socialist, novelist, right-wing conservative, and, finally, political outcast, his thought was rife with insight and contradiction. Until now, only Schuyler’s fiction has found its way back into print. Rac(e)ing to the Right is the first collection of his political and cultural criticism.
The essays gathered by Jeffrey Leak encompass three key periods of Schuyler’s development. The first section follows his literary evolution in the 1920s and 1930s, during which time he deserted the U.S. Army and briefly became a member of the Socialist Party. Part II reveals his shift toward political conservatism in response to World War II and the perceived threat of Communism. Part III covers the civil rights movement of the 1960s—an era that prompted some of his most extreme and volatile critiques of black leadership and liberal ideology. The book includes many essays that are not well known as well as pieces that have never before been published. One notable example is the first printed transcript of Schuyler’s 1961 debate on the Black Muslims with Malcolm X, James Baldwin, and C. Eric Lincoln.
Because African American experience is more often than not associated with liberalism and the left, the idea of a black conservative strikes many as an anomaly. Schuyler’s writings, however, force us to broaden and rethink our political and cultural conceptions. At times misguided, at times prophetic, his work expands our understanding of black intellectual thought in the twentieth century.
The Editor: Jeffrey B. Leak is assistant professor of African American literature at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He has published articles and reviews in Callaloo, African American Review, and The Oxford Companion to African American Literature.
While the population of Indigenous peoples living in Mexico’s cities has steadily increased over the past four decades, both the state and broader society have failed to recognize this geographic heterogeneity by continuing to expect Indigenous peoples to live in rural landscapes that are anathema to a modern Mexico.
This book examines the legacy of the racial imaginary in Mexico with a focus on the Wixarika (Huichol) Indigenous peoples of the western Sierra Madre from the colonial period to the present. Through an examination of the politics of identity, space, and activism among Wixarika university students living and working in the western Mexican cities of Tepic and Guadalajara, geographer Diana Negrín analyzes the production of racialized urban geographies and reveals how Wixarika youth are making claims to a more heterogeneous citizenship that challenges these deep-seated discourses and practices. Through the weaving together of historical material, critical interdisciplinary scholarship, and rich ethnography, this book sheds light on the racialized history, urban transformation, and contemporary Indigenous activism of a region of Mexico that has remained at the margins of scholarship.
"A real contribution to Michigan history that gets to the root of the movements in twentieth-century American history that upon reflection can bring a certain discomfort and unease."
---Francis X. Blouin, Director of the Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan
Throughout the twentieth century, Michigan became home to nearly every political movement in America that emerged from the grassroots. Citizens organized on behalf of concerns on the "left," on the "right," and in the "middle of the road." Right in Michigan's Grassroots: From the KKK to the Michigan Militia is about the people who supported movements that others, then and later, would denounce as disgraceful---members of the Ku Klux Klan during the 1920s, the followers of Father Charles Coughlin in the 1930s, anti-Communists and the John Birch Society in the post– World War II era, and the members of the Michigan Militia who first appeared in the 1990s.
The book explores the complex historical circumstances in Michigan that prompted the emergence of these organizations and led everyday men and women to head off, despite ridicule or condemnation, with plans unsanctioned and tactics unorthodox, variously brandishing weapons of intimidation, discrimination, fearmongering, and terror. Drawing heavily on primary sources, including the organizations' files and interviews with some of their leaders and surviving members, JoEllen Vinyard provides a far more complete portrait of these well-known extremist groups than has ever been available.
The Right of Instruction and Representation in American Legislatures, 1778 to 1900 provides a comprehensive analysis of the role constituent instructions played in American politics for more than a hundred years after its founding. Constituent instructions were more widely issued than previously thought, and members of state legislatures and Congress were more likely to obey them than political scientists and historians have assumed. Peverill Squire expands our understanding of constituent instructions beyond a handful of high-profile cases, through analyses of two unique data sets: one examining more than 5,000 actionable communications (instructions and requests) sent to state legislators by constituents through town meetings, mass meetings, and local representative bodies; the other examines more than 6,600 actionable communications directed by state legislatures to their state’s congressional delegations. He draws the data, examples, and quotes almost entirely from original sources, including government documents such as legislative journals, session laws, town and county records, and newspaper stories, as well as diaries, memoirs, and other contemporary sources. Squire also includes instructions to and from Confederate state legislatures in both data sets. In every respect, the Confederate state legislatures mirrored the legislatures that preceded and followed them.
Who controls how one’s identity is used by others? This legal question, centuries old, demands greater scrutiny in the Internet age. Jennifer Rothman uses the right of publicity—a little-known law, often wielded by celebrities—to answer that question, not just for the famous but for everyone. In challenging the conventional story of the right of publicity’s emergence, development, and justifications, Rothman shows how it transformed people into intellectual property, leading to a bizarre world in which you can lose ownership of your own identity. This shift and the right’s subsequent expansion undermine individual liberty and privacy, restrict free speech, and suppress artistic works.
The Right of Publicity traces the right’s origins back to the emergence of the right of privacy in the late 1800s. The central impetus for the adoption of privacy laws was to protect people from “wrongful publicity.” This privacy-based protection was not limited to anonymous private citizens but applied to famous actors, athletes, and politicians. Beginning in the 1950s, the right transformed into a fully transferable intellectual property right, generating a host of legal disputes, from control of dead celebrities like Prince, to the use of student athletes’ images by the NCAA, to lawsuits by users of Facebook and victims of revenge porn.
The right of publicity has lost its way. Rothman proposes returning the right to its origins and in the process reclaiming privacy for a public world.
The face of the pedestrian safety crisis looks a lot like Ignacio Duarte-Rodriguez. The 77-year old grandfather was struck in a hit-and-run crash while trying to cross a high-speed, six-lane road without crosswalks near his son’s home in Phoenix, Arizona. He was one of the more than 6,000 people killed while walking in America in 2018. In the last ten years, there has been a 50 percent increase in pedestrian deaths.
The tragedy of traffic violence has barely registered with the media and wider culture. Disproportionately the victims are like Duarte-Rodriguez—immigrants, the poor, and people of color. They have largely been blamed and forgotten.
In Right of Way, journalist Angie Schmitt shows us that deaths like Duarte-Rodriguez’s are not unavoidable “accidents.” They don’t happen because of jaywalking or distracted walking. They are predictable, occurring in stark geographic patterns that tell a story about systemic inequality. These deaths are the forgotten faces of an increasingly urgent public-health crisis that we have the tools, but not the will, to solve.
Schmitt examines the possible causes of the increase in pedestrian deaths as well as programs and movements that are beginning to respond to the epidemic. Her investigation unveils why pedestrians are dying—and she demands action. Right of Way is a call to reframe the problem, acknowledge the role of racism and classism in the public response to these deaths, and energize advocacy around road safety. Ultimately, Schmitt argues that we need improvements in infrastructure and changes to policy to save lives.
Right of Way unveils a crisis that is rooted in both inequality and the undeterred reign of the automobile in our cities. It challenges us to imagine and demand safer and more equitable cities, where no one is expendable.
Superbly edited and annotated, this collection of the writings of John Wilkes Booth constitutes a major new primary source that contributes to scholarship on Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War, and nineteenth-century theater history. The nearly seventy documents--more than half published here for the first time--include love letters written during the summer of 1864, when Booth was conspiring against Lincoln, explicit statements of Booth's political convictions, and the diary he kept during his futile twelve-day flight after the assassination.
An updated edition of this measured, practical, and timely guide to LGBT rights and issues for educators and school officials
With ongoing battles over transgender rights, bullying cases in the news almost daily, and marriage equality only recently the law of the land, the information in The Right to Be Out could not be more timely or welcome. In an updated second edition that explores the altered legal terrain of LGBT rights for students and educators, Stuart Biegel offers expert guidance on the most challenging concerns in this fraught context.
Taking up the pertinent questions likely to arise regarding curriculum and pedagogy in the classroom, school sports, and transgender issues, Biegel reviews the dramatic legal developments of the past decades, identifies the principles at work, and analyzes the policy considerations that result from these changes. Central to his work is an understanding of the social, political, and personal tensions regarding the nature and extent of the right to be out, which includes both the First Amendment right to express an identity and the Fourteenth Amendment right to be treated equally. Acknowledging that LGBT issues affect people of every sexual orientation and gender identity, Biegel provides a road map of viable strategies for school officials and educators.
The Right to Be Out, informed by the latest research-based findings, advances the proposition that a safe and supportive educational environment, built upon shared values and geared toward a greater appreciation of our pluralistic society, can lead to a better world for everyone.
Warring factions in the United States like to use children as weapons
for their political agendas as Americans try to determine the role--if
any--of the federal government in the lives of children. But what is the
history of child welfare policy in the United States? What can we learn
from the efforts to found the U.S. Children's bureau in 1903 and its eventual
dismemberment in 1946?
This is the first history of the Children's Bureau and the first in-depth
examination of federal child welfare policy from the perspective of that
agency. Its goal was to promote "a right to childhood," and
Kriste Lindenmeyer unflinchingly examines the successes--and the failures--of
the Bureau. She analyzes infant and maternal mortality, the promotion
of child health care, child labor reform, and the protection of children
with "special needs" from the Bureau's inception through the
Depression, and through all the legislation that impacted on its work
for children. The meaningful accomplishments and the demise of the Children's
Bureau have much to tell parents, politicians, and policy-makers everywhere.
The Right to Counsel in American Courts is the first detailed treatment of all aspects of this vital right as extended in theory and practice by state and federal courts. Addressed primarily to students of constitutional law and of the administration of justice, it is also a valuable tool for practicing lawyers because of its thoughtful organization and wealth of citations.
There are few issues more divisive than what has become known as “the right to die.” One camp upholds “death with dignity,” regarding the terminally ill as autonomous beings capable of forming their own judgment on the timing and process of dying. The other camp advocates “sanctity of life,” regarding life as intrinsically valuable, and that should be sustained as long as possible. Is there a right answer?
Raphael Cohen-Almagor takes a balanced approach in analyzing this emotionally charged debate, viewing the dispute from public policy and international perspectives. He offers an interdisciplinary, compelling study in medicine, law, religion, and ethics. It is a comprehensive look at the troubling question of whether physician-assisted suicide should be allowed. Cohen-Almagor delineates a distinction between active and passive euthanasia and discusses legal measures that have been invoked in the United States and abroad. He outlines reasons non-blood relatives should be given a role in deciding a patient’s last wishes. As he examines euthanasia policies in the Netherlands and the 1994 Oregon Death with Dignity Act, the author suggests amendments and finally makes a circumscribed plea for voluntary physician-assisted suicide.
Universal equality is a treasured political concept in France, but recent anxiety over the country’s Muslim minority has led to an emphasis on a new form of universalism, one promoting loyalty to the nation at the expense of all ethnic and religious affiliations. This timely book offers a fresh perspective on the debate by showing that French equality has not always demanded an erasure of differences. Through close and contextualized readings of the way that major novelists, philosophers, filmmakers, and political figures have struggled with the question of integrating Jews into French society, Maurice Samuels draws lessons about how the French have often understood the universal in relation to the particular.
Samuels demonstrates that Jewish difference has always been essential to the elaboration of French universalism, whether as its foil or as proof of its reach. He traces the development of this discourse through key moments in French history, from debates over granting Jews civil rights during the Revolution, through the Dreyfus Affair and Vichy, and up to the rise of a “new antisemitism” in recent years. By recovering the forgotten history of a more open, pluralistic form of French universalism, Samuels points toward new ways of moving beyond current ethnic and religious dilemmas and argues for a more inclusive view of what constitutes political discourse in France.
The Right to Difference examines novels that depict human rights violations in order to explore causes of intergroup violence within diverse societies, using Germany as a test case. In these texts, the book shows that an exaggeration of difference between minority and majority groups leads to violence. Germany has become increasingly diverse over the past decades due to skilled labor migration and refugee movements. In light of this diversity, this book’s approach transcends a divide between migrant and post-migrant German literature on the one hand and a national literature on the other hand. Addressing competing definitions of national identity as well as the contest between cultural homogeneity and diversity, the author redefines the term “intercultural literature.” It becomes not a synonym for authors who do not belong to a national literature, such as migrant writers, but a way of reading literature with an intercultural lens.
This book builds a theory of intercultural literature that focuses on the multifaceted nature of identity, in which ethnicity represents only one of many characteristics defining individuals. To develop intercultural competence, one needs to adopt a complex image of individuals that allows for commonalities and differences by complicating the notion of sharp contrasts between groups. Revealing the affective allegiances formed around other characteristics (gender, profession, personal motivations, relationships, and more) allows for similarities that grouping into large, homogeneous, and seemingly exclusive entities conceals. Eight novels analyzed in this book remember and reveal human rights violations, such as genocide, internment and torture, violent expulsion, the reasons for fleeing a country, dangerous flight routes and the difficulty of settling in a new country. Some of these novels allow for affective identification with diverse characters and cast the protagonists as individuals with plural perspectives and identities rather than monolithic members of one large national or ethnic group, whereas others emphasize the commonalities of all people.
Ultimately, the author makes the case for German Studies to contribute to an antiracist approach to diversity by redefining what it means to be German and establishing difference as a fundamental human right
Much of what we could do, we shouldn’t—and we don’t. Mark Osiel shows that common morality—expressed as shame, outrage, and stigma—is society’s first line of defense against transgressions. Social norms can be indefensible, but when they complement the law, they can save us from an alternative that is far worse: a repressive legal regime.
The DREAM Act, bipartisan legislation first introduced in Congress in 2001, would provide conditional residency for undocumented youth brought to the United States as children. It recognizes that undocumented youth have done nothing wrong and that they should be allowed to work, to go to school, and to travel. The bill makes college more affordable through in-state tuition and gives the undocumented a path to citizenship if they graduate from college or serve in the military. Congress has failed to pass the DREAM Act, and fourteen states have filled the gap by implementing their own laws and policies that provide educational benefits to undocumented students. Right to DREAM makes a compelling argument for the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform. William A. Schwab explores the key issues surrounding this legislation: What are the issues that divide? What do the proponents and opponents of the DREAM Act argue? Is there a middle ground? Is compromise possible? Answering these questions, Schwab explains the legal issues surrounding the education of immigrant children, who immigrates and why, how four waves of immigration have shaped the nation, the effects of immigrants on the U.S. economy and culture, and the process of becoming an American. Schwab analyzes the DREAM Act, deferred action, and immigration policy. He weaves personal stories of undocumented youth throughout the book and advocates for the economic, political, and social benefits of the DREAM Act that would bring undocumented youth out of the shadows and into the mainstream of society.
In 1988, a new health care system, the Sistema Único de Saúde (Unified Health Care System or SUS) was formally established in Brazil. The system was intended, among other goals, to provide universal access to health care services and to redefine health as a citizen’s right and a duty of the state. A Right to Health explores how these goals have unfolded within an urban peripheral community located on the edges of the northeastern city of Fortaleza. Focusing on the decade 1998–2008 and the impact of health care reforms on one low-income neighborhood, Jessica Jerome documents the tensions that arose between the ideals of the reforms and their entanglement with pervasive socioeconomic inequality, neoliberal economic policy, and generational tension with the community. Using ethnographic and historical research, the book traces the history of political activism in the community, showing that, since the community’s formation in the early 1930s, residents have consistently fought for health care services. In so doing, Jerome develops a multilayered portrait of urban peripheral life and suggests that the notion of health care as a right of each citizen plays a major role not only in the way in which health care is allocated, but, perhaps more importantly, in how health care is understood and experienced.
In the 1949 Housing Act, Congress declared "a decent home and a suitable living environment for every American family" our national housing goal. Today, little more than half a century later, upwards of 100 million people in the United States live in housing that is physically inadequate, unsafe, overcrowded, or unaffordable.
The contributors to A Right to Housing consider the key issues related to America's housing crisis, including income inequality and insecurity, segregation and discrimination, the rights of the elderly, as well as legislative and judicial responses to homelessness. The book offers a detailed examination of how access to adequate housing is directly related to economic security.
With essays by leading activists and scholars, this book presents a powerful and compelling analysis of the persistent inability of the U.S. to meet many of its citizens' housing needs, and a comprehensive proposal for progressive change.
In The Right to Look, Nicholas Mirzoeff develops a comparative decolonial framework for visual culture studies, the field that he helped to create and shape. Casting modernity as an ongoing contest between visuality and countervisuality, or “the right to look,” he explains how visuality sutures authority to power and renders the association natural. An early-nineteenth-century concept, meaning the visualization of history, visuality has been central to the legitimization of Western hegemony. Mirzoeff identifies three “complexes of visuality”—plantation slavery, imperialism, and the present-day military-industrial complex—and explains how, within each, power is made to seem self-evident through techniques of classification, separation, and aestheticization. At the same time, he shows how each complex of visuality has been countered—by the enslaved, the colonized, and opponents of war, all of whom assert autonomy from authority by claiming the right to look. Encompassing the Caribbean plantation and the Haitian revolution, anticolonialism in the South Pacific, antifascism in Italy and Algeria, and the contemporary global counterinsurgency, The Right to Look is a work of astonishing geographic, temporal, and conceptual reach.
In The Right to Maim Jasbir K. Puar brings her pathbreaking work on the liberal state, sexuality, and biopolitics to bear on our understanding of disability. Drawing on a stunning array of theoretical and methodological frameworks, Puar uses the concept of “debility”—bodily injury and social exclusion brought on by economic and political factors—to disrupt the category of disability. She shows how debility, disability, and capacity together constitute an assemblage that states use to control populations. Puar's analysis culminates in an interrogation of Israel's policies toward Palestine, in which she outlines how Israel brings Palestinians into biopolitical being by designating them available for injury. Supplementing its right to kill with what Puar calls the right to maim, the Israeli state relies on liberal frameworks of disability to obscure and enable the mass debilitation of Palestinian bodies. Tracing disability's interaction with debility and capacity, Puar offers a brilliant rethinking of Foucauldian biopolitics while showing how disability functions at the intersection of imperialism and racialized capital.
The Right to Play Oneself collects for the first time Thomas Waugh’s essays on the politics, history, and aesthetics of documentary film, written between 1974 and 2008. The title, inspired by Walter Benjamin’s and Joris Ivens’s manifestos of “committed” documentary from the 19 0s, reflects the book’s theme of the political potential of documentary for representing the democratic performance of citizens and artists.
Waugh analyzes an eclectic international selection of films and issues from the 1920s to the present day. The essays provide a transcultural focus, moving from documentaries of the industrialized societies of North America and Europe to those of 1980s India and addressing such canonical directors as Dziga Vertov, Emile de Antonio, Barbara Hammer, Rosa von Praunheim, and Anand Patwardhan. Woven through the volume is the relationship of the documentary with the history of the Left, including discussions of LGBT documentary pioneers and the firebrand collectives that changed the history of documentary, such as Challenge for Change and ACT UP’s Women’s Collective.
Together with the introduction by the author, Waugh’s essays advance a defiantly and persuasively personal point of view on the history and significance of documentary film.
Where did the right to privacy come from and what does it mean? Grappling with the critical issues involving women and gays that relate to the recent Supreme Court appointment, Vincent J. Samar develops a definition of legal privacy, discusses the reasons why and the degree to which privacy should be protected, and shows the relationship between privacy and personal autonomy. He answers former Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork’s questions about scope, content, and legal justification for a general right to privacy and emphasizes issues involving gays and lesbians, Samar maintains that these privacy issues share a common constitutional-ethical underpinning with issues such as abortion, surrogate motherhood, drug testing, and the right to die.
This original and significant contribution to the historiography of the civil rights movement and education in the South details a dramatic and disturbing chapter in American cultural history.
The tradition of American public libraries is closely tied to the perception that these institutions are open to all without regard to social background. Such was not the case in the segregated South, however, where public libraries barred entry to millions of African Americans and provided tacit support for a culture of white supremacy. A Right to Read is the first book to examine public library segregation from its origins in the late 19th century through its end during the tumultuous years of the 1960s civil rights movement. Graham focuses on Alabama, where African Americans, denied access to white libraries, worked to establish and maintain their own "Negro branches." These libraries-separate but never equal-were always underfunded and inadequately prepared to meet the needs of their constituencies.
By 1960, however, African Americans turned their attention toward desegregating the white public libraries their taxes helped support. They carried out "read-ins" and other protests designed to bring attention and judicial pressure upon the segregationists. Patterson Toby Graham contends that, for librarians, the civil rights movement in their institutions represented a conflict of values that pitted their professional ethics against regional mores. He details how several librarians in Alabama took the dangerous course of opposing segregationists, sometimes with unsettling results.
This groundbreaking work built on primary evidence will have wide cross-disciplinary appeal. Students and scholars of southern and African-American history, civil rights, and social science, as well as academic and public librarians, will appreciate Graham's solid research and astute analysis.
Patterson Toby Graham is Head of Special Collections at the University
of Southern Mississippi. His research on library segregation has won four
awards, including the ALISE-Eugene Garfield Dissertation Award.
The original architects of rock ’n’ roll were black musicians including Little Richard, Etta James, and Chuck Berry. Jimi Hendrix electrified rock with his explosive guitar in the late 1960s. Yet by the 1980s, rock music produced by African Americans no longer seemed to be “authentically black.” Particularly within the music industry, the prevailing view was that no one—not black audiences, not white audiences, and not black musicians—had an interest in black rock. In 1985 New York-based black musicians and writers formed the Black Rock Coalition (brc) to challenge that notion and create outlets for black rock music. A second branch of the coalition started in Los Angeles in 1989. Under the auspices of the brc, musicians organized performances and produced recordings and radio and television shows featuring black rock. The first book to focus on the brc, Right to Rock is, like the coalition itself, about the connections between race and music, identity and authenticity, art and politics, and power and change. Maureen Mahon observed and participated in brc activities in New York and Los Angeles, and she conducted interviews with more than two dozen brc members. In Right to Rock she offers an in-depth account of how, for nearly twenty years, members of the brc have broadened understandings of black identity and black culture through rock music.
The cowboy songs and dusty Texas car rides of his youth set Patrick B. Mullen on a lifelong journey into the sprawling Arcadia of American music. That music fused so-called civilized elements with native forms to produce everything from Zydeco to Conjunto to jazz to Woody Guthrie. The civilized/native idea, meanwhile, helped develop Mullen's critical perspective, guide his love of music, and steer his life's work. Part scholar's musings and part fan's memoir, Right to the Juke Joint follows Mullen from his early embrace of country and folk to the full flowering of an idiosyncratic, omnivorous interest in music. Personal memory merges with a lifetime of fieldwork in folklore and anthropology to provide readers with a deeply informed analysis of American roots music. Mullen opens up on the world of ideas and his own tireless fandom to explore how his cultural identity--and ours--relates to concepts like authenticity and "folkness." The result is a charming musical map drawn by a gifted storyteller whose boots have traveled a thousand tuneful roads.
Modern transparency dates to the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s—well before the Internet. Michael Schudson shows how the “right to know” has defined a new era for democracy—less focus on parties and elections, more pluralism and more players, year-round monitoring of government, and a blurring line between politics and society, public and private.
Over a century after its first stage performance, Peter Pan has become deeply embedded in Western popular culture, as an enduring part of childhood memories, in every part of popular media, and in commercial enterprises.
Since 2003 the characters from this story have had a highly visible presence in nearly every genre of popular culture: two major films, a literary sequel to the original adventures, a graphic novel featuring a grown-up Wendy Darling, and an Argentinean novel about a children's book writer inspired by J. M. Barrie. Simultaneously, Barrie surfaced as the subject of two major biographies and a feature film. The engaging essays in Second Star to the Right approach Pan from literary, dramatic, film, television, and sociological perspectives and, in the process, analyze his emergence and preservation in the cultural imagination.
Cities today are increasingly at the forefront of the environmental and social crisis—they are simultaneously a major cause and a potential solution. Across the world, a new wave of urban social movements is rising to fight against corporate control, social exclusion, hostile immigration policies, gender oppression, and ecological devastation. These movements are building economic, social, and political alternatives based on solidarity, equality, and participation. This anthology develops the debates that began at the recent Transnational Institute of Social Ecology’s (TRISE) conference about the dire need to rebuild the social and political realities of our world’s cities. It discusses the prospects of radical urban movements; examines the revolutionary potential of the concept of “the Right to the City,” and looks at how activists, scholars, and community movements can work together towards an ecological and democratic future. A fruitful conversation between theory and practice, this book opens new ground for rethinking systemic urban change in a way that challenges oppression and transforms how people work, create, and live together.
In today’s world, responsible biocitizenship has become a new way of belonging in society. Individuals are expected to make “responsible” medical choices, including the decision to be screened for genetic disease. Paradoxically, we have even come to see ourselves as having the right to be responsible vis-à-vis the proactive mitigation of genetic risk. At the same time, the concept of genetic disease has become a new and powerful way of defining the boundaries between human groups. Tay-Sachs, an autosomal recessive disorder, is a case in point—with origins in the period of Eastern European Jewish immigration to the United States and United Kingdom that spanned the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, it has a long and fraught history as a marker of Jewish racial difference.
In Testing Fate, Shelley Z. Reuter asks: Can the biocitizen, especially one historically defined as a racialized and pathologized Other, be said to be exercising authentic, free choice in deciding whether to undertake genetic screening? Drawing on a range of historical and contemporary examples—doctors’ medical reports of Tay-Sachs since the first case was documented in 1881, the medical field’s construction of Tay-Sachs as a disease of Jewish immigrants, YouTube videos of children with Tay-Sachs that frame the disease as tragic disability avoidable through a simple genetic test, and medical malpractice suits since the test for the disease became available—Reuter shows that true agency in genetic decision-making can be exercised only from a place of cultural inclusion. Choice in this context is in fact a kind of unfreedom—a moral duty to act that is not really agency at all.
Ezra Taft Benson's ultra-conservative vision made him one of the most polarizing leaders in the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His willingness to mix religion with extreme right-wing politics troubled many. Yet his fierce defense of the traditional family, unabashed love of country, and deep knowledge of the faith endeared him to millions. In Thunder from the Right, a group of veteran Mormon scholars probe aspects of Benson's extraordinary life. Topics include: how Benson's views influenced his actions as Secretary of Agriculture in the Eisenhower Administration; his dedication to the conservative movement, from alliances with Barry Goldwater and the John Birch Society to his condemnation of the civil rights movement as a communist front; how his concept of the principal of free agency became central to Mormon theology; his advocacy of traditional gender roles as a counterbalance to liberalism; and the events and implications of Benson's term as Church president. Contributors: Gary James Bergera, Matthew Bowman, Newell G. Bringhurst, Brian Q. Cannon, Robert A. Goldberg, Matthew L. Harris, J. B. Haws, and Andrea G. Radke-Moss
Emerson Opdycke, a lieutenant with the 41st Ohio Infantry and later a commander of the 125th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, won fame at the Battle of Franklin when his brigade saved the Union Army from defeat. He also played pivotal roles in some of the major battles of the western theater, including Chickamauga, Chattanooga, and Missionary Ridge.
Opdycke's wartime letters to his wife, Lucy, offer the immediacy of the action as it unfolded and provide a glimpse into the day-to-day life of a soldier. Viewing the conflict with the South as a battle between the rights of states and loyalty to the Union, his letters reveal his dislike of slavery, devotion to the Union, disdain for military ineptitude, and opinions of combat strategies and high-ranking officers. A thorough introduction by editors Glenn V. Longacre and John E. Haas and a foreword by Peter Cozzens provide additional historical context and biographical information.
Urban Claims and the Right to the City explores how contested processes of urban development, and the rights of city dwellers, are understood and interpreted from the perspective of women and men working, in different ways, at the grassroots in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, and London, UK. In doing so, it represents the grounded voices of authors whose work and lives mean that they engage, on a daily basis, with issues related to housing and spatial rights, and identity struggles around race, gender, disability, sexuality, citizenship, and class.
For the past twenty-five years, American culture has been marked by an almost palpable sense of anxiety about the nation's inner cities. Urban America has been consistently depicted as a site of moral decay and uncontrollable violence, held in stark contrast to the allegedly moral, orderly suburbs and exurbs. In Urban Nightmares, Steve Macek documents the scope of these alarmist representations of the city, examines the ideologies that informed them, and exposes the interests they ultimately served. Macek begins by exploring the conservative analysis of the urban poverty, joblessness, and crime that became entrenched during the post-Vietnam War era. Instead of attributing these conditions to broad social and economic conditions, right-wing intellectuals, pundits, policy analysts, and politicians blamed urban problems on the urban underclass itself. This strategy was successful, Macek argues, in deflecting attention from growing income disparities and in helping to secure popular support both for reactionary social policies and the assumptions underwriting them.Turning to the media, Macek explains how Hollywood filmmakers, advertisers, and journalists validated the right-wing discourse on the urban crisis, popularizing its vocabulary. Network television news and weekly news magazines, he shows, covered the inner city and its inhabitants in ways consonant with the right's alarmist discourse. At the same time, Hollywood zealously recycled this antiurban bias in films ranging from genre thrillers like Falling Down and Judgment Night to auteurist efforts like Batman and Seven. Even advertising, Macek argues, mobilized fears of a perilous urban realm to sell products from SUVs to home alarm systems.Published during the second term of an American president whose conservative agenda has been an ongoing disaster for the poor and the working class, Urban Nightmares exposes a divisive legacy of media bias against the cities and their inhabitants and issues a wake-up call to readers to recognize that media images shape what we believe about others' (and our own) place in the real world-and the consequences of those beliefs can be devastating.Steve Macek teaches media studies, urban and suburbia studies, and speech communication at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois.
Vanguard Performance Beyond Left and Right challenges assumptions regarding “radical” and “experimental” performance that have long dominated thinking about the avant-garde. The book brings to light vanguard performances rarely discussed: those that support totalitarian regimes, promote conservative values, or have been effectively snapped up by right-wing regimes the performances intended to oppose. In so doing, the volume explores a central paradox: how innovative performances that challenge oppressive power structures can also be deployed in deliberate, passionate support of oppressive power. Essays by leading international scholars pose engaging questions about the historical avant-garde, vanguard acts, and the complex role of artistic innovation and live performance in global politics. Focusing on performances that work against progressive and democratic ideas (including scripted drama, staged suicide, choral dance, terrorism, rallies, and espionage), the book demonstrates how many compelling performance ideals—unification, exaltation, immersion—are, in themselves, neither moral nor immoral; they are only emotional and aesthetic urges that can be powerfully channeled into a variety of social and political outlets.
"An extraordinarily informative scholarly history of the debate over working hours from 1920 to 1940."
--New York Times Book Review
For more than a century preceding the Great Depression, work hours were steadily reduced. Intellectuals, labor leaders, politicians, and workers saw this reduction in work as authentic progress and the resulting increase in leisure time as a cultural advance. Benjamin Hunnicutt examines the period from 1920 to 1940 during which the shorter hour movement ended and the drive for economic expansion through increased work took over. He traces the political, intellectual, and social dialogues that changed the American concept of progress from dreams of more leisure in which to pursue the higher things in life to an obsession with the importance of work and wage-earning.
During the 1920s with the development of advertising, the "gospel of consumption" began to replace the goal of leisure time with a list of things to buy. Business, which increasingly viewed shorter hours as a threat to economic growth, persuaded the worker that more work brought more tangible rewards. The Great Depression shook the newly proclaimed gospel as well as everyone's faith in progress.
Although work-sharing became a temporary solution to the shortage of jobs and massive unemployment, when faced with legislation that would limit the work week to thirty hours, Roosevelt and his New Deal advisors adopted the gospel of consumption's tests for progress and created more work by government action. The New Deal campaigned for the right to work a full time job--and won.
"Work Without End presents a compelling history of the rise and fall of the 40-hour work week, explains bow Americans became trapped in a prison of work that allows little room for family, bobbies or civic participation and suggests bow they can free themselves from relentless overwork. [This book] is a sober reconsideration of a topic that is critical to America's future. It suggests that progress doesn't mean much if there is not time for love as well as work, and liberation is an empty achievement if the work it frees one to do is truly without end."
--The Washington Post
"Hunnicutt, with this excellent book, becomes the first United States historian to examine fully why this momentous change occurred."
--The Journal of American History
"Hunnicutt's achievement is to ask the questions, and to provide the first extended answer which takes in the full array of economic, social, and political forces behind the â€˜end of shorter hours' in the crucial first half of the twentieth century."
--Journal of Economic History
"This thoroughly documented history [is] a valuable book well worth reading."
--Libertarian Labor Review
"This is an important book in the emerging debate about alternatives to full employment. Hunnicutt is a skilled historian who is on to an important issue, writes well, and can bring many different kinds of historical sources to bear on the problem."
--Fred Block, University of Pennsylvania
"Work Without End is a disturbing but impressive indictment of both big business and the New Deal program of Franklin D. Roosevelt.... Hunnicutt presents an unusual but persuasive description of a successful conspiracy to deprive American workers of their vision of a shorter-hours work week and the individual and societal liberation which would flow from it."
--Labor Studies Journal