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The Refuge of Affections: Family and American Reform Politics, 1900--1920
     

The Refuge of Affections: Family and American Reform Politics, 1900--1920

by Eric Rauchway
 

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The Progressives—those reformers responsible for the shape of many American institutions, from the Federal Reserve Board to the New School for Social Research—have always presented a mystery. What prompted middle-class citizens to support fundamental change in American life? Eric Rauchway shows that like most of us, the reformers took their inspiration

Overview

The Progressives—those reformers responsible for the shape of many American institutions, from the Federal Reserve Board to the New School for Social Research—have always presented a mystery. What prompted middle-class citizens to support fundamental change in American life? Eric Rauchway shows that like most of us, the reformers took their inspiration from their own lives—from the challenges of forming a family.

Following the lives and careers of Charles and Mary Beard, Wesley Clair and Lucy Sprague Mitchell, and Willard and Dorothy Straight, the book moves from the plains of the Midwest to the plains of Manchuria, from the trade-union halls of industrial Britain to the editorial offices of the New Republic in Manhattan. Rauchway argues that parenting was a kind of elitism that fulfilled itself when it undid itself, and this vision of familial responsibility underlay Progressive approaches to foreign policy, economics, social policy, and education.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
"At the start of the 20th century, a generation of reformers began self-consciously to adapt traditional institutions to a modern and rapidly changing world, and in the process they took an especially keen interest in the meaning and purpose of families"<-->(from the introduction). Rauchway's (affiliation not cited) analysis includes a history of three families of political and social reformers and an exploration of how these reformers used their ideas about family and social obligation to create the periodical, Ruskin College Oxford, the Bank Street Schools, and the New School for Social Research. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Journal of American History
Original and elegantly written.

— K. Walter Hickel

Journal of American History - K. Walter Hickel
Original and elegantly written.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231506168
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
04/05/2001
Series:
Columbia Studies in Contemporary American History
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
322
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Eric Rauchway is University Lecturer in American History at the University of Oxford.


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