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Boundaries of the State In Us History$
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James T. Sparrow, William J. Novak, and Stephen W. Sawyer

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226277646

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226277813.001.0001

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Good Citizens of a World Power: Postwar Reconfigurations of the Obligation to Give

Good Citizens of a World Power: Postwar Reconfigurations of the Obligation to Give

(p.209) Eight Good Citizens of a World Power: Postwar Reconfigurations of the Obligation to Give
Boundaries of the State In Us History

Elisabeth S. Clemens

University of Chicago Press

In times of crisis, domestic or international, the capacity of American government has been enhanced by the large-scale mobilization of civic benevolence. Although the New Deal is often envisioned as marking an end to the era of voluntarism in the provision of public goods, President Roosevelt constructed new alignments of citizen philanthropy with national projects, represented by the March of Dimes against polio and the widespread equation of donating with patriotic citizenship during the Second World War. Following Roosevelt's death and the end of the war, both his allies and opposition competed to reinforce or replace this presidentially-centered regime of civic philanthropy with other configurations that varied in their degree of inclusion (particularly of organized labor) and local rather than national orientation. Within a decade, the result was a much more fragmented system of civic benevolence, oriented to particular causes rather than national crises and patriotic solidarity.

Keywords:   citizen philanthropy, civic benevolence, March of Dimes, American Red Cross, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Basil O’Connor

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