"Deserves careful attention . . . Presents a dynamic approach to how twentieth-century democracy was historically and theoretically construed after the triumph of the corporate state in America."
—Journal of American History
"In this original approach to the transformation of democratic thought in the early twentieth century, Frezza probes the meaning of the public voice for the exercise of citizenship. This is an impressive and insightful book that captures the changing significance of the crowd as it manifested itself in public spaces and political life. It is an important contribution both to intellectual history and to the history of the social sciences."
"A thoughtful and thought-provoking work that contributes to our understanding of the transformation of American liberal democracy in the early twentieth century."
—American Historical Review
However, this paradigm of a rational Anglo-Saxon male public in opposition to irrational mobs--traditionally considered to be composed of women, children, "savages"--was challenged by the reality of southern lynch mobs made up of white Anglo-Saxons, people who used mob violence as an instrument of subjugation over an allegedly inferior race. After World War I, when the topic of eugenics and immigration restrictions ignited the debate of exclusion/inclusion regarding U.S. citizenship, Franz Boas's work provided a significant counterbalance to the biased language of race. Furthermore, the very concept of democracy was questioned from many points of view.
During the Depression years, social scientists such as John Dewey critically analyzed the democratic system in comparison to European dictatorships. The debate then acquired an international dimension. In the "ideological rearmament of America" on the eve of World War II, social scientists criticized Nazi racism but at the same time stressed how racism was also deeply rooted in America. This is a fresh and provocative look at the parallels between the emergence of America as a world power and the maturing of the new discipline of social science.
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List price: $44.95
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