Atlantic Crossings: Social Politics in a Progressive Age by Daniel T. Rodgers

By Daniel T. Rodgers

"The so much belated of nations," Theodore Roosevelt referred to as his state throughout the workmen's reimbursement struggle in 1907. past reformers, progressives of his day, and later New purchasers lamented the nation's resistance to versions in another country for correctives to the backwardness of yank social politics. Atlantic Crossings is the 1st significant account of the colourful foreign community that they constructed--so frequently obscured through notions of yankee exceptionalism--and of its profound influence at the usa from the 1870s via 1945.

On a story canvas that sweeps throughout Europe and the us, Daniel Rodgers retells the tale of the vintage period of efforts to fix the damages of unbridled capitalism. He unearths the forgotten foreign roots of such techniques as urban making plans, rural cooperatives, modernist structure for public housing, and social assurance, between different reforms. From small beginnings to reconstructions of the hot nice towns and rural lifestyles, and to the wide-ranging mechanics of social safeguard for operating humans, Rodgers reveals the interconnections, variations, exchanges, or even rivalries within the Atlantic region's social making plans. He uncovers the significant diffusion of expertise, rules, and motion that have been breathtaking of their diversity and impact.

The scope of Atlantic Crossings is titanic and peopled with the reformers, college women and men, new specialists, bureaucrats, politicians, and proficient amateurs. This lengthy durée of up to date social coverage encompassed fierce debate, new conceptions of the function of the nation, an reputation of the significance of workmanship in making executive coverage, and a acceptance of a shared future in a newly created world.

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State-centered" analyses of social politics in this period have not adequately fathomed how indistinct the line between state and society remained throughout most of Europe and the United States, how thin the apparatus of state management was, and how reliant it was on temporary and borrowed expertise. Even for the principal architects of social politics, government service typically figured as an episode rather than a career. The chief drafters of the Social Security Act of 1935 came to the New Deal on three- to six-month loans; William Beveridge wrote his Report while being eased out, not for the first time, of government employment.

A block to the north were the offices of the American Association for Labor Legislation. Less than a block to the east was the headquarters of the Russell Sage Foundation, with its funds and fingers in pies ranging from public health and tuberculosis prevention to child labor and the promotion of city playgrounds, urban social surveys, low-interest pawnshops, the condition of women's wage labor, tenement house regulation, folk schools for Appalachian mountaineers, the making of a regional plan for greater New York, and the construction of a model suburb at Forest Hills Gardens on Long Island.

In Scotland during her first trip to Europe in the 1880s, Jane Addams was reading Scott; in Italy, Ruskin; in Germany, Carlyle. "I am no longer an American ghost," the young Carey Thomas wrote home from England in 1881. "15 But even as consciousness of common cultural traditions joined the continents in the minds of late-nineteenth-century Americans, the contrast between new and old, raw and settled, forced them all the farther apart. Conventional American tourists abroad had no interest in reminders of the United States, still less in the forces of economic change disrupting the stability of their imagined Europe.

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