The Good Citizen: A History of American Civic Life

The Good Citizen: A History of American Civic Life Michael Schudson 0674356403 9780674356405 In 1996, less than half of all eligible voters bothered to vote. Fewer citizens each year follow government and public affairs regularly.
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In 1996, less than half of all eligible voters bothered to vote. Fewer citizens each year follow government and public affairs regularly. Is popular sovereignty a failure? Not necessarily, argues Michael Schudson in this provocative history of citizenship in America. Schudson sees American politics as evolving from a politics of assent in colonial times and the eighteenth century, in which voting generally reaffirmed the social hierarchy of the community; to a politics of affiliation in the nineteenth century, in which party loyalty was paramount for the good citizen. Progressive reforms around the turn of the century reduced the power of parties and increased the role of education, making way for the informed citizen, which remains the ideal in American civic life. Today a fourth model, the rights-bearing citizen, supplements the informed citizen model and makes the courthouse as well as the voting booth a channel for citizenship.

Author: Michael Schudson

Language: English

Binding: Paperback

Pages: 402

Publisher: Harvard University Press

Publication Date: 1999-09-01


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