Catalogue


Civic passions : seven who launched progressive America (and what they teach us) /
Cecelia Tichi.
imprint
Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, c2009.
description
xviii, 382 p.
ISBN
0807833002 (cloth : alk. paper), 9780807833001 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, c2009.
isbn
0807833002 (cloth : alk. paper)
9780807833001 (cloth : alk. paper)
contents note
Two Gilded Ages : a preface -- Danger and opportunity : an introduction -- Alice Hamilton, M.D. : the dangerous trades -- John R. Commons : the Pittsburgh survey -- Julia Lathrop : justice, not pity -- Florence Kelley : the wages of work -- Louis D. Brandeis : citizen -- Walter Rauschenbusch : the social Gospel -- Ida B. Wells-Barnett : lynching in all its phases -- Progressive encore? A postscript.
catalogue key
6937828
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
Tichi examines innovative leadership in periods of crisis in American history, starting from the late 19th century, when respected voices warned that America was on the brink of collapse. She brings 7 iconoclastic individuals from the Gilded Age back to life to show how citizen-activists can engage the problems of the age in imaginative ways. This is a provocative and powerfully written social history, a collection of minibiographies, and a user's manual on how a generation of social reformers can turn peril into progress with fresh, workable ideas.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2010-07-01:
In her postscript chapter, English professor Tichi (Vanderbilt) avers that the US has entered a new Progressive Era and that the leaders of today can learn from the examples of the seven people she examines. Her chapters are biographical sketches that reveal the social challenges and life events that drew each of the seven leaders to become activists (the clash of labor with management, the lynching of African American men, the desire of immigrants and poor people for economic security and protection from occupational hazards) and summarize his or her achievements. Although the book's footnotes and bibliography show evidence of extensive research, the chapters are inconsistent in pattern and content, and the reformers selected for inclusion have widely varying visions of reform. Tichi does not provide an overarching historical context, so readers are left feeling they are reading a biographical dictionary with only seven entries. Two similar but better books for undergraduates are The Human Tradition in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, edited by Ballard C. Campbell (2000), and Norman K. Risjord's Populists and Progressives (2005). Summing Up: Optional. General collections. L. Patrick Florida State University
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2009-09-07:
Social historian Tichi makes the case that there are widespread parallels between the excesses and inequities of the country's first Gilded Age over a century ago and the lopsided social and economic landscape of our day. In a lively spur to reform-minded discussion, Tichi offers profiles of seven Victorian-era reformers-including an industrial health advocate (Alice Hamilton), antilynching crusader (Ida B. Wells-Barnett), consumer advocate (Florence Kelley), jurist (Louis Brandeis) and child welfare advocate (Julia Lathrop)-selected for how they typified a generational commitment to "fresh thinking and action." And their deeds-eloquently channeled here-do resound with renewed import now. Often from the privileged middle classes themselves-Wells-Barnett being a notable exception-these men and women fought tirelessly to better the lives of working people in a country revamped by sprawling corporate might, industrial organization, endemic prejudice and the concomitant intellectual rationales of Social Darwinism. Many lives were saved and improved as a result, though the system arguably remained fundamentally unchanged. Hamilton, at the end of her long and distinguished life-a few months shy of the passage of OSHA-nevertheless pessimistically bemoaned an "instinctive American lawlessness." (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Reviews
Review Quotes
"A fervent, illuminating account of a moment when the United States became a more democratic and humane society. Against conventional wisdom and the opposition of a political and business regime serving only the comfortable and powerful, the activists in Tichi's story changed Americans' minds about social justice and their mutual obligations. It is a stirring tale, perceptively and passionately told, and one we need to remember in this contemporary moment with its striking similarities to the Gilded Age."--Charles McGovern, College of William and Mary
A Nota Bene selection ofThe Chronicle of Higher Education
A Nota Bene selection of The Chronicle of Higher Education
"A passion for the progressives . . . Cecelia Tichi's new book dramatizes a chapter in America's history." - The Chronicle of Higher Education
"A passion for the progressives . . . Cecelia Tichi's new book dramatizes a chapter in America's history." -The Chronicle of Higher Education
"A passion for the progressives . . . Cecelia Tichi's new book dramatizes a chapter in America's history." '”The Chronicle of Higher Education
"A passion for the progressives . . . Cecelia Tichi's new book dramatizes a chapter in America's history." —The Chronicle of Higher Education
"Beautifully written . . . each chapter succeeds in gripping readers by plunging them into the middle of the subject's stream of life, generally at a pivotal moment in his or her career." - Indiana Magazine of History
"Highly readable. . . . As much an intervention in modern political debates as it is a contribution to historiography. . . . In each of the book's seven main chapters, Tichi presents a sensitive, contextualized portrait of an individual whose life work confronted, and changed, the circumstances of a rapidly modernizing America." - Tennessee Historical Quarterly
"In a lively spur to reform-minded discussion, Tichi offers profiles of seven Victorian-era reformers. . . . Their deeds, eloquently channeled here, do resound with renewed import now." - Publishers Weekly
"In a lively spur to reform-minded discussion, Tichi offers profiles of seven Victorian-era reformers. . . . Their deeds, eloquently channeled here, do resound with renewed import now." --Publishers Weekly
"In a lively spur to reform-minded discussion, Tichi offers profiles of seven Victorian-era reformers. . . . Their deeds, eloquently channeled here, do resound with renewed import now." '”Publishers Weekly
"In a lively spur to reform-minded discussion, Tichi offers profiles of seven Victorian-era reformers. . . . Their deeds, eloquently channeled here, do resound with renewed import now." —Publishers Weekly
"In elegant and engaging prose, Tichi relates the dramatic stories of seven lives that teach us great lessons. She captures the relationships of people and social movements, offering a series of portraits that weave biography, politics, history, and social reform. This is a terrific book."--Daniel Horowitz, Smith College
"Read this book and the embers in your civic soul will flare again. Cecelia Tichi is a master of her subject and her craft. In writing so fluently and vividly about seven people who helped to save democracy in the first Gilded Age, she rekindles the passion and courage needed to confront the ravages of its reincarnation in our time. Just as she did with her book on great muckraking journalists then and now-- Exposes and Excess --Tichi takes us back to the future and challenges us to stand up as citizens to the powerful forces of unbridled capitalism that threatens to overwhelm our democratic traditions and institutions."--Bill Moyers
"Read this book and the embers in your civic soul will flare again. Cecelia Tichi is a master of her subject and her craft. In writing so fluently and vividly about seven people who helped to save democracy in the first Gilded Age, she rekindles the passion and courage needed to confront the ravages of its reincarnation in our time. Just as she did with her book on great muckraking journalists then and now-- Expos s and Excess --Tichi takes us back to the future and challenges us to stand up as citizens to the powerful forces of unbridled capitalism that threatens to overwhelm our democratic traditions and institutions."--Bill Moyers
"Remind[s] readers that the legacies of century-old struggles are woven deeply into the fabric of life today. . . . Tichi's writing is always clear; and she invests Civic Passions with narrative brio." - Bookforum
"Remind[s] readers that the legacies of century-old struggles are woven deeply into the fabric of life today. . . . Tichi's writing is always clear; and she investsCivic Passionswith narrative brio." --Bookforum
"Remind[s] readers that the legacies of century-old struggles are woven deeply into the fabric of life today. . . . Tichi's writing is always clear; and she investsCivic Passionswith narrative brio." '”Bookforum
"Remind[s] readers that the legacies of century-old struggles are woven deeply into the fabric of life today. . . . Tichi's writing is always clear; and she investsCivic Passionswith narrative brio." —Bookforum
"Tichi's book serves as a welcome overview, providing a rich sense of the immediacy and relevance of these activists' ideals and of the passion of their convictions." - The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era
"Tichi skillfully weaves the biographical entities into a coherent whole. . . . Civic Passions is a welcome addition to our knowledge of one of America's most significant eras." - Northwest Ohio History
"Will make arch-conservatives (continue to) gnash their teeth while warming the hearts of those brave souls willing to accept the label of 'liberal.'" -- Steve Goddard's History Wire
"Will make arch-conservatives (continue to) gnash their teeth while warming the hearts of those brave souls willing to accept the label of 'liberal.'" -Steve Goddard's History Wire
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, September 2009
Choice, July 2010
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
A gripping and inspiring book, Civic Passions examines innovative leadership in periods of crisis in American history. Starting from the late nineteenth century, when respected voices warned that America was on the brink of collapse, Cecelia Tichi explores the wisdom of practical visionaries who were confronted with a series of social, political, and financial upheavals that, in certain respects, seem eerily similar to modern times. The United States--then, as now--was riddled with political corruption, financial panics, social disruption, labor strife, and bourgeois inertia. Drawing on a wealth of evocative personal accounts, biographies, and archival material, Tichi brings seven iconoclastic--and often overlooked--individuals from the Gilded Age back to life. We meet physician Alice Hamilton, theologian Walter Rauschenbusch, jurist Louis D. Brandeis, consumer advocate Florence Kelley, antilynching activist Ida B. Wells-Barnett, economist John R. Commons, and child-welfare advocate Julia Lathrop. Bucking the status quo of the Gilded Age as well as middle-class complacency, these reformers tirelessly garnered popular support as they championed progressive solutions to seemingly intractable social problems. Civic Passions is a provocative and powerfully written social history, a collection of minibiographies, and a user's manual on how a generation of social reformers can turn peril into progress with fresh, workable ideas. Together, these narratives of advocacy provide a stunning precedent of progressive action and show how citizen-activists can engage the problems of the age in imaginative ways. While offering useful models to encourage the nation in a newly progressive direction, Civic Passions reminds us that one determined individual can make a difference.
Main Description
A gripping and inspiring book,Civic Passionsexamines innovative leadership in periods of crisis in American history. Starting from the late nineteenth century, when respected voices warned that America was on the brink of collapse, Cecelia Tichi explores the wisdom of practical visionaries who were confronted with a series of social, political, and financial upheavals that, in certain respects, seem eerily similar to modern times. The United States--then, as now--was riddled with political corruption, financial panics, social disruption, labor strife, and bourgeois inertia. Drawing on a wealth of evocative personal accounts, biographies, and archival material, Tichi brings seven iconoclastic--and often overlooked--individuals from the Gilded Age back to life. We meet physician Alice Hamilton, theologian Walter Rauschenbusch, jurist Louis D. Brandeis, consumer advocate Florence Kelley, antilynching activist Ida B. Wells-Barnett, economist John R. Commons, and child-welfare advocate Julia Lathrop. Bucking the status quo of the Gilded Age as well as middle-class complacency, these reformers tirelessly garnered popular support as they championed progressive solutions to seemingly intractable social problems. Civic Passionsis a provocative and powerfully written social history, a collection of minibiographies, and a user's manual on how a generation of social reformers can turn peril into progress with fresh, workable ideas. Together, these narratives of advocacy provide a stunning precedent of progressive action and show how citizen-activists can engage the problems of the age in imaginative ways. While offering useful models to encourage the nation in a newly progressive direction,Civic Passionsreminds us that one determined individualcanmake a difference.

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