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Inventing The American Way

Author : Wendy L. Wall
ISBN : 0199736820
Genre : History
File Size : 64. 57 MB
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In the wake of World War II, Americans developed an unusually deep and all-encompassing national unity, as postwar affluence and the Cold War combined to naturally produce a remarkable level of agreement about the nation's core values. Or so the story has long been told. Inventing the "American Way" challenges this vision of inevitable consensus. Americans, as Wendy Wall argues in this innovative book, were united, not so much by identical beliefs, as by a shared conviction that a distinctive "American Way" existed and that the affirmation of such common ground was essential to the future of the nation. Moreover, the roots of consensus politics lie not in the Cold War era, but in the turbulent decade that preceded U.S. entry into World War II. The social and economic chaos of the Depression years alarmed a diverse array of groups, as did the rise of two "alien" ideologies: fascism and communism. In this context, Americans of divergent backgrounds and beliefs seized on the notion of a unifying "American Way" and sought to convince their fellow citizens of its merits. Wall traces the competing efforts of business groups, politicians, leftist intellectuals, interfaith proponents, civil rights activists, and many others over nearly three decades to shape public understandings of the "American Way." Along the way, she explores the politics behind cultural productions ranging from The Adventures of Superman to the Freedom Train that circled the nation in the late 1940s. She highlights the intense debate that erupted over the term "democracy" after World War II, and identifies the origins of phrases such as "free enterprise" and the "Judeo-Christian tradition" that remain central to American political life. By uncovering the culture wars of the mid-twentieth century, this book sheds new light on a period that proved pivotal for American national identity and that remains the unspoken backdrop for debates over multiculturalism, national unity, and public values today.

Inventing The American Way Of Death 1830 1920

Author : James J. Farrell
ISBN : UOM:39015010158866
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 32. 76 MB
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This book is a study in religion, culture, and social change. Taking the position that death is a cultural event, James J. Farrell examines the historical roots of contemporary American attitudes toward and practices concerning death. Middle-class Victorians tried to assuage their fear by making death appear natural, painless, predictable, beautiful, and ultimately inconspicuous. Scientific naturalism was a crucial catalyst of this transformation. Naturalists redefined death, the medical profession called for the establishment of rural cemeteries, and the sanitary science movement influenced embalming methods and funeral practices. The main part of this work describes and analyzes the convergence of the intellectual and social trends that changed American beliefs and behavior concerning death. The penultimate chapter focuses on Vermilion County, and the development of funeral practices in that specific place. The author uses local sources to add an empirical dimension to the intellectual history that characterizes the rest of the book. -- From publisher's description.

The American Way Of Life

Author : Lawrence R. Samuel
ISBN : 9781683930839
Genre : History
File Size : 57. 54 MB
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Telling the full story of the American Way of Life (or more simply the American Way) in the United States over the course of the last century reveals key insights that add to our understanding of American culture. Lawrence R. Samuel argues that since the term was popularized in the 1930s, the American Way has served as the primary guiding mythology or national ethos of the United States. More than that, however, this work shows that the American Way has represented many things to many people, making the mythology a useful device for anyone wishing to promote a particular agenda that serves his or her interests. A consumerist lifestyle supported by a system based in free enterprise has been the ideological backbone of the American Way, but the term has been attached to everything from farming to baseball to barbecue. There really is no single, identifiable American Way and never has been—it becomes clear after tracing its history—making it a kind of Zelig of belief systems. If our underlying philosophy or set of values is amorphous and nebulous, then so is our national identity and character, Samuel concludes, implying that the meaning of America is elastic and accommodating to many interpretations. This unique thesis sets off this work from other books and helps establish it as a seminal resource within the fields of American history and American studies.

The Routledge History Of Death Since 1800

Author : Peter N. Stearns
ISBN : 9780429639845
Genre : History
File Size : 45. 15 MB
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The Routledge History of Death Since 1800 looks at how death has been treated and dealt with in modern history – the history of the past 250 years – in a global context, through a mix of definite, often quantifiable changes and a complex, qualitative assessment of the subject. The book is divided into three parts, with the first considering major trends in death history and identifying widespread patterns of change and continuity in the material and cultural features of death since 1800. The second part turns to specifically regional experiences, and the third offers more specialized chapters on key topics in the modern history of death. Historical findings and debates feed directly into a current and prospective assessment of death, as many societies transition into patterns of ageing that will further alter the death experience and challenge modern reactions. Thus, a final chapter probes this topic, by way of introducing the links between historical experience and current trajectories, ensuring that the book gives the reader a framework for assessing the ongoing process, as well as an understanding of the past. Global in focus and linking death to a variety of major developments in modern global history, the volume is ideal for all those interested in the multifaceted history of how death is dealt with in different societies over time and who want access to the rich and growing historiography on the subject. Chapter 1 of this book is freely available as a downloadable Open Access PDF under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license at https://tandfbis.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/rt-files/docs/Open+Access+Chapters/9780429028274_oachapter1.pdf.

To Serve The Living

Author : Suzanne E. Smith
ISBN : 9780674267442
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 41. 88 MB
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From antebellum slavery to the twenty-first century, African American funeral directors have orchestrated funerals or “homegoing” ceremonies with dignity and pageantry. As entrepreneurs in a largely segregated trade, they were among the few black individuals in any community who were economically independent and not beholden to the local white power structure. Most important, their financial freedom gave them the ability to support the struggle for civil rights and, indeed, to serve the living as well as bury the dead. During the Jim Crow era, black funeral directors relied on racial segregation to secure their foothold in America’s capitalist marketplace. With the dawning of the civil rights age, these entrepreneurs were drawn into the movement to integrate American society, but were also uncertain how racial integration would affect their business success. From the beginning, this tension between personal gain and community service shaped the history of African American funeral directing. For African Americans, death was never simply the end of life, and funerals were not just places to mourn. In the “hush harbors” of the slave quarters, African Americans first used funerals to bury their dead and to plan a path to freedom. Similarly, throughout the long—and often violent—struggle for racial equality in the twentieth century, funeral directors aided the cause by honoring the dead while supporting the living. To Serve the Living offers a fascinating history of how African American funeral directors have been integral to the fight for freedom.

Continuing Bonds With The Dead

Author : Harold K. Bush
ISBN : 9780817319021
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 42. 18 MB
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Continuing Bonds with the Dead explores the redemptive literary achievements of five nineteenth-century American authors who lost a son or daughter. In it, Harold K. Bush illuminates America's evolving cultural attitudes about death and grief.

The New Deal

Author : Kiran Klaus Patel
ISBN : 9780691176154
Genre : History
File Size : 46. 93 MB
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The New Deal: A Global History provides a radically new interpretation of a pivotal period in US history. The first comprehensive study of the New Deal in a global context, the book compares American responses to the international crisis of capitalism and democracy during the 1930s to responses by other countries around the globe—not just in Europe but also in Latin America, Asia, and other parts of the world. Work creation, agricultural intervention, state planning, immigration policy, the role of mass media, forms of political leadership, and new ways of ruling America's colonies—all had parallels elsewhere and unfolded against a backdrop of intense global debates. By avoiding the distortions of American exceptionalism, Kiran Klaus Patel shows how America's reaction to the Great Depression connected it to the wider world. Among much else, the book explains why the New Deal had enormous repercussions on China; why Franklin D. Roosevelt studied the welfare schemes of Nazi Germany; and why the New Dealers were fascinated by cooperatives in Sweden—but ignored similar schemes in Japan. Ultimately, Patel argues, the New Deal provided the institutional scaffolding for the construction of American global hegemony in the postwar era, making this history essential for understanding both the New Deal and America's rise to global leadership.

American Higher Education Since World War Ii

Author : Roger L. Geiger
ISBN : 9780691216928
Genre : Education
File Size : 45. 46 MB
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A masterful history of the postwar transformation of American higher education In the decades after World War II, as government and social support surged and enrollments exploded, the role of colleges and universities in American society changed dramatically. Roger Geiger provides an in-depth history of this remarkable transformation, taking readers from the GI Bill and the postwar expansion of higher education to the social upheaval of the 1960s and 1970s, desegregation and coeducation, and the ascendancy of the modern research university. He demonstrates how growth has been the defining feature of modern higher education, but how each generation since the war has pursued it for different reasons. Sweeping in scope and richly insightful, this groundbreaking book provides the context we need to understand the complex issues facing our colleges and universities today, from rising inequality and skyrocketing costs to deficiencies in student preparedness and lax educational standards.

The Color Of Success

Author : Ellen D. Wu
ISBN : 9780691168029
Genre : History
File Size : 67. 19 MB
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The Color of Success tells of the astonishing transformation of Asians in the United States from the "yellow peril" to "model minorities"--peoples distinct from the white majority but lauded as well-assimilated, upwardly mobile, and exemplars of traditional family values--in the middle decades of the twentieth century. As Ellen Wu shows, liberals argued for the acceptance of these immigrant communities into the national fold, charging that the failure of America to live in accordance with its democratic ideals endangered the country's aspirations to world leadership. Weaving together myriad perspectives, Wu provides an unprecedented view of racial reform and the contradictions of national belonging in the civil rights era. She highlights the contests for power and authority within Japanese and Chinese America alongside the designs of those external to these populations, including government officials, social scientists, journalists, and others. And she demonstrates that the invention of the model minority took place in multiple arenas, such as battles over zoot suiters leaving wartime internment camps, the juvenile delinquency panic of the 1950s, Hawaii statehood, and the African American freedom movement. Together, these illuminate the impact of foreign relations on the domestic racial order and how the nation accepted Asians as legitimate citizens while continuing to perceive them as indelible outsiders. By charting the emergence of the model minority stereotype, The Color of Success reveals that this far-reaching, politically charged process continues to have profound implications for how Americans understand race, opportunity, and nationhood.

Whom We Shall Welcome

Author : Danielle Battisti
ISBN : 9780823284412
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 43. 79 MB
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Whom We Shall Welcome examines World War II immigration of Italians to the United States, an under-studied period in Italian immigration history. Danielle Battisti looks at efforts by Italian American organizations to foster Italian immigration along with the lobbying efforts of Italian Americans to change the quota laws. While Italian Americans (and other white ethnics) had attained virtual political and social equality with many other groups of older-stock Americans by the end of the war, Italians continued to be classified as undesirable immigrants. Her work is an important contribution toward understanding the construction of Italian American racial/ethnic identity in this period, the role of ethnic groups in U.S. foreign policy in the Cold War era, and the history of the liberal immigration reform movement that led to the 1965 Immigration Act. Whom We Shall Welcome makes significant contributions to histories of migration and ethnicity, post-World War II liberalism, and immigration policy.

Civil Religion Today

Author : Rhys H. Williams
ISBN : 9781479809844
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 89. 74 MB
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"An important concept that scholars have used to help understand the relationship between religion and the American nation and polity has been "civil religion." A seminal article by Robert Bellah appeared just over fifty years ago. A multi-disciplinary array of scholars in this volume assess the concept's origins, history, and continued usefulness. In a period of great political polarization, considering whether there is hope for a unifying value and belief system seems more important than ever"--

The Sacred Remains

Author : Gary Laderman
ISBN : 0300078684
Genre : History
File Size : 72. 9 MB
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" ... A primary goal of this study is to shed some light on how changing attitudes toward death and the dead in the previous century have led to present-day perspectives and practices."--Page 1.

Jewish Immigrant Associations And American Identity In New York 1880 1939

Author : Daniel Soyer
ISBN : 9780814344514
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 70. 36 MB
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Study of a vital immigrant institution and the formation of American ethnic identity.

Poetry Of Mourning

Author : Jahan Ramazani
ISBN : 9780226703404
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 73. 41 MB
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Through readings of elegies, self-elegies, war poems and the blues, this book covers a wide range of poets, including Thomas Hardy, Wilfred Owen, Wallace Stevens, Langston Hughes, W.H. Auden, Sylvia Plath and Seamus Heaney. It is grounded in genre theory and in the psychoanalysis of mourning.

American Behavioral History

Author : Peter N. Stearns
ISBN : 9781479885145
Genre : History
File Size : 43. 92 MB
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From his founding of The Journal of Social History to his groundbreaking work on the history of emotions, weight, and parenting, Peter N. Stearns has pushed the boundaries of social history to new levels, presenting new insights into how people have lived and thought through the ages. Having established the history of emotions as a major subfield of social history, Stearns and his collaborators are poised to do the same thing with the study of human behavior. This is their manifesto. American Behavioral History deals with specific uses of historical data and analysis to illuminate American behavior patterns, ranging from car buying rituals to sexuality, and from funeral practices to contemporary grandparenting. The anthology illustrates the advantages and parameters of analyzing the ways in which people behave, and adds significantly to our social understanding while developing innovative methods for historical teaching and research. At its core, the collection demonstrates how the study of the past can be directly used to understand current behaviors in the United States. Throughout, contributors discuss not only specific behavioral patterns but, importantly, how to consider and interpret them as vital historical sources. Contributors include Gary Cross, Paula Fass, Linda Rosenzweig, Susan Matt, Steven M. Gelber, Peter N. Stearns, Suzanne Smith, Mark M. Smith, Kevin White.

Carried To The Wall

Author : Kristin Ann Hass
ISBN : 0520920708
Genre : History
File Size : 45. 88 MB
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On May 9, 1990, a bottle of Jack Daniels, a ring with letter, a Purple Heart and Bronze Star, a baseball, a photo album, an ace of spades, and a pie were some of the objects left at the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial. For Kristin Hass, this eclectic sampling represents an attempt by ordinary Americans to come to terms with a multitude of unnamed losses as well as to take part in the ongoing debate of how this war should be remembered. Hass explores the restless memory of the Vietnam War and an American public still grappling with its commemoration. In doing so it considers the ways Americans have struggled to renegotiate the meanings of national identity, patriotism, community, and the place of the soldier, in the aftermath of a war that ruptured the ways in which all of these things have been traditionally defined. Hass contextualizes her study of this phenomenon within the history of American funerary traditions (in particular non-Anglo traditions in which material offerings are common), the history of war memorials, and the changing symbolic meaning of war. Her evocative analysis of the site itself illustrates and enriches her larger theses regarding the creation of public memory and the problem of remembering war and the resulting causalities—in this case not only 58,000 soldiers, but also conceptions of masculinity, patriotism, and working-class pride and idealism.

Channeling The Past

Author : Erik Christiansen
ISBN : 9780299289034
Genre : History
File Size : 36. 24 MB
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After the turmoil of the Great Depression and World War II, Americans looked to the nation’s more distant past for lessons to inform its uncertain future. By applying recent and emerging techniques in mass communication—including radio and television programs and commercial book clubs—American elites working in media, commerce, and government used history to confer authority on their respective messages. With insight and wit, Erik Christiansen uncovers in Channeling the Past the ways that powerful corporations rewrote history to strengthen the postwar corporate state, while progressives, communists, and other leftists vied to make their own versions of the past more popular. Christiansen looks closely at several notable initiatives—CBS’s flashback You Are There program; the Smithsonian Museum of American History, constructed in the late 1950s; the Cavalcade of America program sponsored by the Du Pont Company; the History Book Club; and the Freedom Train, a museum on rails that traveled the country from 1947 to 1949 exhibiting historic documents and flags, including original copies of the U.S. Constitution and the Magna Carta. It is often said that history is written by the victors, but Christiansen offers a more nuanced perspective: history is constantly remade to suit the objectives of those with the resources to do it. He provides dramatic evidence of sophisticated calculations that influenced both public opinion and historical memory, and shows that Americans’ relationships with the past changed as a result.

The Star And The Stripes

Author : Michael N. Barnett
ISBN : 9780691180724
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 73. 25 MB
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An incisive account of the foreign policy beliefs of American Jews from the nineteenth century to the present How do American Jews envision their role in the world? Are they tribal—a people whose obligations extend solely to their own? Or are they prophetic—a light unto nations, working to repair the world? The Star and the Stripes is an original, provocative interpretation of the effects of these worldviews on the foreign policy beliefs of American Jews since the nineteenth century. Michael Barnett argues that it all begins with the political identity of American Jews. As Jews, they are committed to their people's survival. As Americans, they identify with, and believe their survival depends on, the American principles of liberalism, religious freedom, and pluralism. This identity and search for inclusion form a political theology of prophetic Judaism that emphasizes the historic mission of Jews to help create a world of peace and justice. The political theology of prophetic Judaism accounts for two enduring features of the foreign policy beliefs of American Jews. They exhibit a cosmopolitan sensibility, advocating on behalf of human rights, humanitarianism, and international law and organizations. They also are suspicious of nationalism—including their own. Contrary to the conventional wisdom that American Jews are natural-born Jewish nationalists, Barnett charts a long history of ambivalence; this ambivalence connects their early rejection of Zionism with the current debate regarding their attachment to Israel. And, Barnett contends, this growing ambivalence also explains the rising popularity of humanitarian and social justice movements among American Jews. Rooted in the understanding of how history shapes a political community's sense of the world, The Star and the Stripes is a bold reading of the past, present, and possible future foreign policies of American Jews.

Bootlegged Aliens

Author : Ashley Johnson Bavery
ISBN : 9780812297379
Genre : History
File Size : 74. 22 MB
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In contemporary discourse, much of the discussion of U.S. border politics focuses on the Southwest. In Bootlegged Aliens, however, Ashley Johnson Bavery considers the North as a borderlands region, demonstrating how this often-overlooked border influenced government policies toward illegal immigration, business and labor union practices around migrant labor, and the experience of being an illegal immigrant in early twentieth-century industrial America. Bavery examines how immigrants, politicians, and employers helped shape national policies toward noncitizen laborers. In the process, she uncovers the northern industrial origins of an exploitative system that emerged on America's border with Canada, whose legacy remains central to debates about America's borders today. Bavery begins in the 1920s to explore how that decade's immigration restrictions launched an era of policing and profiling that excluded America's foreign born from the benefits of citizenship. On the border between Detroit and Windsor, Canada, this process turned certain Europeans into undocumented immigrants, a group the press and policymakers referred to as bootlegged aliens. Over the next decade, deportation and policing practices stigmatized entire communities of ethnic Europeans regardless of their legal status. Moreover, restrictive laws allowed manufacturers to exploit workers in new ways. By the Great Depression, citizenship had become an invisible boundary that excluded hundreds of thousands of laborers from New Deal entitlements. Accepted wisdom suggests that the 1924 Immigration Act had allowed ethnic Europeans to shed ties to their homelands and assimilate into the "melting pot" of American culture by the 1930s. Bavery challenges this perspective, finding that, instead of forging a common culture with their fellow workers, European immigrants coming through Canada to Detroit faced statewide registration drives, exclusion from key labor unions, and disqualification from the Works Progress Administration, the cornerstone of America's nascent welfare state. In the heart of industrial America, Bootlegged Aliens reveals, citizenship was highly contingent.

The Modern Art Of Dying

Author : Shai J. Lavi
ISBN : 9781400826773
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 37. 81 MB
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How we die reveals much about how we live. In this provocative book, Shai Lavi traces the history of euthanasia in the United States to show how changing attitudes toward death reflect new and troubling ways of experiencing pain, hope, and freedom. Lavi begins with the historical meaning of euthanasia as signifying an "easeful death." Over time, he shows, the term came to mean a death blessed by the grace of God, and later, medical hastening of death. Lavi illustrates these changes with compelling accounts of changes at the deathbed. He takes us from early nineteenth-century deathbeds governed by religion through the medicalization of death with the physician presiding over the deathbed, to the legalization of physician-assisted suicide. Unlike previous books, which have focused on law and technique as explanations for the rise of euthanasia, this book asks why law and technique have come to play such a central role in the way we die. What is at stake in the modern way of dying is not human progress, but rather a fundamental change in the way we experience life in the face of death, Lavi argues. In attempting to gain control over death, he maintains, we may unintentionally have ceded control to policy makers and bio-scientific enterprises.

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