Boundaries Of The State In Us History

Paperback | October 12, 2015

EditorJames T. Sparrow, William J. Novak, Stephen W. Sawyer

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The question of how the American state defines its power has become central to a range of historical topics, from the founding of the Republic and the role of the educational system to the functions of agencies and America’s place in the world. Yet conventional histories of the state have not reckoned adequately with the roots of an ever-expanding governmental power, assuming instead that the American state was historically and exceptionally weak relative to its European peers.

Here, James T. Sparrow, William J. Novak, and Stephen W. Sawyer assemble definitional essays that search for explanations to account for the extraordinary growth of US power without resorting to exceptionalist narratives. Turning away from abstract, metaphysical questions about what the state is, or schematic models of how it must work, these essays focus instead on the more pragmatic, historical question of what it does. By historicizing the construction of the boundaries dividing America and the world, civil society and the state, they are able to explain the dynamism and flexibility of a government whose powers appear so natural as to be given, invisible, inevitable, and exceptional.

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The question of how the American state defines its power has become central to a range of historical topics, from the founding of the Republic and the role of the educational system to the functions of agencies and America’s place in the world. Yet conventional histories of the state have not reckoned adequately with the roots of an ev...

James T. Sparrow is associate professor of history and master of the Collegiate Social Sciences Division at the University of Chicago. He is the author of Warfare State: World War II Americans and the Age of Big Government. William J. Novak is the Charles F. and Edith J. Clyne Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School. ...

other books by James T. Sparrow

Warfare State: World War II Americans and the Age of Big Government
Warfare State: World War II Americans and the Age of Bi...

Kobo ebook|Aug 4 2011

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Boundaries of the State in US History
Boundaries of the State in US History

Kobo ebook|Sep 7 2015

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see all books by James T. Sparrow
Format:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:October 12, 2015Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022627778X

ISBN - 13:9780226277783

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Table of Contents

James T. Sparrow, William J. Novak, and Stephen W. Sawyer
Introduction

Part I : The State and the World

Gautham Rao
One / The Early American State “In Action”: The Federal Marine Hospitals, 1789–1860

Stephen W. Sawyer
Two / Beyond Tocqueville’s Myth: Rethinking the Model of the American State

C. J. Alvarez
Three / Inventing the US-Mexico Border

James T. Sparrow
Four / Rumors of Empire: Tracking the Image of Britain at the Dawn of the American Century

Jason Scott Smith
Five / The Great Transformation: The State and the Market in the Postwar World

Part II : The State and Civil Society

Tracy Steffes
Six / Governing the Child: The State, the Family, and the Compulsory School in the Early Twentieth Century

Gabriel N. Rosenberg
Seven / Youth as Infrastructure: 4-H and the Intimate State in 1920s Rural America

Elisabeth Clemens
Eight / Good Citizens of a World Power: Postwar Reconfigurations of the Obligation to Give

Omar M. McRoberts
Nine / The Rise of the Public Religious Welfare State: Black Religion and the Negotiation of Church/State Boundaries during the War on Poverty

Robert C. Lieberman
Ten / Private Power and American Bureaucracy: The State, the EEOC, and Civil Rights Enforcement

Richard R. John
Eleven / From Political Economy to Civil Society: Arthur W. Page, Corporate Philanthropy, and the Reframing of the Past in Post–New Deal America

William J. Novak
Conclusion: The Concept of the State in American History

Acknowledgments
Contributors
Index

Editorial Reviews

“The authors of these essays seek to add their explanation of the meaning of the US state to the studies produced in sociology, political science, history, anthropology, and other social sciences in recent years. Their purpose is to clarify the study by explaining how the state operates and where power is generated. The essayists wrestle with the complication of disintegrated power evident in the US system of government. . . . As in all essay collections, some authors reach the goal of the project more clearly than others, but all of them offer perspectives on the subject that deserve consideration. Recommended.”