Struggles for justice : social responsibility and the liberal state /
Alan Dawley.
Cambridge, Mass. : Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1991.
x, 538 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
0674845803 (acid-free) :
More Details
Cambridge, Mass. : Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1991.
0674845803 (acid-free) :
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 421-429) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1992-03:
Dawley has synthesized the secondary literature to offer a masterful overview of the 50 fevered years after 1890. Beginning with the Gilded Age, he incorporates expansionism, racism, the family, immigrant exclusion, the plantation, mill town labor, and other social factors into a compelling narrative that reflects his sympathies for African Americans, Native Americans, and the working class. Dawley also causally links the emergence of new workers, the "New Woman," new immigrants, consumerism, et al. to structural changes in American society in the three decades after 1890. This grand-scale history neglects neither the Progressive reform agenda nor a Janus-faced foreign policy that looked both to self-government and US hegemony overseas. The treatment of southern "colonial" dependency, the conflict between laissez faire and Progressivism, and the continuities between Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt, although not unfamiliar, are nuanced, sharply argued, and studded with vivid analytical gems. Especially noteworthy is the large dose of working-class history, unusual in panoramic texts. Stimulating, provocative, wide-ranging, this study will benefit all students of American post-Civil War history.-M. Cantor, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Review Quotes
A superb book, much the best general account of 20th century American history to have been published in many years. It seems to be a model of the new approaches to American history, especially for the ways in which it combines social and political history. Dawley does more to make sense of the general theme of social justice, the defining theme of the past couple of generations, than anyone else. The book is superbly well written and effectively organized. It should become the leading college text in its subject, and I hope that it will also find a large general audience, for it will be of real interest to the learned public.
Historians have been calling for years for syntheses of the new scholarship of the last generation. Dawley has now provided one...He dusts democracy off and places it back where it belongs, at the center of the story...His argument helps restore balance to our conception of "progressivism" and to our understanding of the larger liberal world of which, he reminds us, democratic impulses were once (and we must hope remain) a vital part.
Of the varieties of histories of the welfare state, this is now, by far, the best. It offers both a survey and a powerful, original interpretation. It is the first general book to take the question of gender seriously.
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, March 1992
University Press Book News, June 1992
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Main Description
In this new interpretation of the making of modern America, prizewinning historian Alan Dawley traces the group struggles involved in the nation's rise to power. Probing the dynamics of social change, he explores tensions between industrial workers and corporate capitalists, Victorian moralists and New Women, native Protestants and Catholic immigrants. Thoughtful analysis and sparkling narrative combine to make this book a major challenge to earlier interpretations of the period.
Table of Contents
The Problem: State and Society, 1890s-1912
Gilded Age Liberty
New Workers, New Women
The Social Question
Confronting the Issues, 1913-1924
Progressive Statecraft
The Dynamics of Total War
Response to Revolution
Restoration by Repression
The Resolution, 1925-1938
The New Era of Corporate Capitalism
Managing the Depression: Hoover and Roosevelt
Rendezvous with Destiny
Selected Bibliography
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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