Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page, Dedication

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Contents

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Preface

Ballard C. Campbell

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pp. xiii-xv

This updated edition of The Growth of American Government has two principal objectives. The first is to review the course of governance over recent decades, picking up the story from where the initial version of the book ended. My orienting question during this survey was: has the scope and power of government...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xvii-xviii

I take great pleasure in thanking my family, friends, and associates for their help with this book. Clay McShane, Marge Murphy, John Post, and Michael Tolley read portions of the manuscript and offered me sound advice about it...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-8

Government in the United States underwent a major transformation in the years after 1887. Before the 1880s government performed a limited range of functions and rarely intruded into everyday life. In our own time the public...

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1. Governing the Cleveland Era

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pp. 9-33

Americans faced a peril, Grover Cleveland warned in his annual message of 1887. This danger, the president continued, threatened widespread disaster and a “brood of evil consequences.” Phrased in such foreboding terms, the peril must have seemed formidable. The modern mind envisions horrors on the scale...

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2. The Course and Causes of Growth

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pp. 34-64

Eighteen eighty-seven symbolizes the dawn of modern governance, when older ways of transacting civic affairs came into conflict with new demands on the uses of power. Grover Cleveland’s attack on the tariff in his 1887 address demonstrates the continued vitality of traditional axioms about good government...

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3. The Transition Era

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pp. 65-98

Julian West gazed in amazement at his native Boston. It was not the city he remembered. Marvelous public structures adorned an immaculate landscape where hovels once stood. Doors were left unlocked because burglars no longer prowled the night; with “care and crime” abolished, thieves had vanished...

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4. The Great Depression and Economic Policy

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pp. 99-125

Photographs captured the tragedy of the Great Depression. Bleak expressions of men slouched on park benches, small groups huddled around ashcan fires near closed factories, lines queued for blocks outside food kitchens...

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5. The Managed Economy since the New Deal

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pp. 126-159

“Man, it was the war time. There was jobs all over.” That’s how Muddy Waters remembered Chicago in 1943. On the day he arrived in the Windy City, Muddy found work at a box factory.1 The prospect of a steady job at decent wages had lured him out of Mississippi and the poverty that enveloped black farmhands...

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6. The New Income Security

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pp. 160-182

“I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished.” That sobering observation was the keynote of Franklin Roosevelt’s second inaugural address in 1937. Despite the improvement in conditions during the first four years of the New Deal, the president admitted that millions of individuals still scratched...

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7. The New Equality

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pp. 183-205

Only six hundred miles lay between Clarksdale, Mississippi, and Chicago, Illinois. For the aspiring bluesman Muddy Waters and other African Americans who left the delta region for the Windy City, however, the two areas were...

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8. Paying for Modern Government

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pp. 206-236

Modern Americans grumble when they must add a dime or more sales tax to the cost of a doughnut and a cup of coffee. The approach of April 15, when income tax reports are due, can bring on apprehensions. Life in the Cleveland era had its annoyances too, but paying taxes was not one of them for most...

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9. The New Faces of Power

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pp. 237-264

J. Edgar Hoover lived in the nation’s capital for all his seventy-seven years. Washington, D.C., still retained a southern flavor in 1895, the year that Hoover was born. The sturdy Victorian houses that lined Seward Square, his boyhood neighborhood located a five-minute walk from the Capitol, reflected the middle-class...

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10. The Reagan Era and the Restrained Polity

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pp. 265-284

Reminiscent of Grover Cleveland nearly a century earlier, Ronald Reagan warned about the crisis of his time. Rampant inflation, unfair taxation, and chronic budget deficits, he said, were sapping the nation’s spirit and stifling its economic growth. “Government is not the solution to our problem,” the...

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11. The Debate over "Big" Government

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pp. 285-318

“Read my lips: no new taxes.” Taking a cue from a Clint Eastwood movie, George Herbert Walker Bush pledged to hold the line on taxes in his presidential nomination acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in 1988. Bush’s promise is among the most memorable political remarks...

Notes

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pp. 319-346

Bibliography

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pp. 347-370

Index

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pp. 371-379