University of Pennsylvania Press

Politics and Culture in Modern America

Series Editors: Margot Canaday, Glenda Gilmore, Michael Kazin, Thomas J. Sugrue

Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press

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Politics and Culture in Modern America

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Piety and Public Funding

Evangelicals and the State in Modern America

By Axel R. Schafer

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The Port Huron Statement

Sources and Legacies of the New Left's Founding Manifesto

Edited by Richard Flacks and Nelson Lichtenstein

The Port Huron Statement was the most important manifesto of the New Left student movement of the 1960s. Initially drafted by Tom Hayden and debated over the course of three days in 1962 at a meeting of student leaders, the statement was issued by Students for a Democratic Society as their founding document. Its key idea, "participatory democracy," proved a watchword for Sixties radicalism that has also reemerged in popular protests from the Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street.

Featuring essays by some of the original contributors as well as prominent scholars who were influenced by the manifesto, The Port Huron Statement probes the origins, content, and contemporary influence of the document that heralded the emergence of a vibrant New Left in American culture and politics. Opening with an essay by Tom Hayden that provides a sweeping reflection on the document's enduring significance, the volume explores the diverse intellectual and cultural roots of the Statement, the uneasy dynamics between liberals and radicals that led to and followed this convergence, the ways participatory democracy was defined and deployed in the 1960s, and the continuing resonances this idea has for political movements today. An appendix includes a complete facsimile of the original document.

The Port Huron Statement offers a vivid portrait of a unique moment in the history of radicalism, showing that the ideas that inspired a generation of young radicals more than a half a century ago are just as important and provocative today.

Contributors: Robert Cohen, Richard Flacks, Jennifer Frost, Daniel Geary, Barbara Haber, Grace Elizabeth Hale, Tom Hayden, Michael Kazin, Nelson Lichtenstein, Jane Mansbridge, Lisa McGirr, James Miller, Robert J. S. Ross, Michael Vester, Erik Olin Wright.

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Queer Clout

Chicago and the Rise of Gay Politics

By Timothy Stewart-Winter

In postwar America, the path to political power for gays and lesbians led through city hall. By the late 1980s, politicians and elected officials, who had originally sought political advantage from raiding gay bars and carting their patrons off to jail, were pursuing gays and lesbians aggressively as a voting bloc—not least by campaigning in those same bars. Gays had acquired power and influence. They had clout.

Tracing the gay movement's trajectory since the 1950s from the closet to the corridors of power, Queer Clout is the first book to weave together activism and electoral politics, shifting the story from the coastal gay meccas to the nation's great inland metropolis. Timothy Stewart-Winter challenges the traditional division between the homophile and gay liberation movements, and stresses gay people's and African Americans' shared focus on police harassment. He highlights the crucial role of black civil rights activists and political leaders in offering white gays and lesbians not only a model for protest but also an opening to join an emerging liberal coalition in city hall. The book draws on diverse oral histories and archival records spanning half a century, including those of undercover vice and police red squad investigators, previously unexamined interviews by midcentury social scientists studying gay life, and newly available papers of activists, politicians, and city agencies.

As the first history of gay politics in the post-Stonewall era grounded in archival research, Queer Clout sheds new light on the politics of race, religion, and the AIDS crisis, and it shows how big-city politics paved the way for the gay movement's unprecedented successes under the nation's first African American president.

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Race, Riots, and Roller Coasters

The Struggle over Segregated Recreation in America

By Victoria W. Wolcott

Throughout the twentieth century, African Americans challenged segregation at amusement parks, swimming pools, and skating rinks not only in pursuit of pleasure but as part of a wider struggle for racial equality. Well before the Montgomery bus boycott, mothers led their children into segregated amusement parks, teenagers congregated at forbidden swimming pools, and church groups picnicked at white-only parks. But too often white mobs attacked those who dared to transgress racial norms. In Race, Riots, and Roller Coasters, Victoria W. Wolcott tells the story of this battle for access to leisure space in cities all over the United States.

Contradicting the nostalgic image of urban leisure venues as democratic spaces, Wolcott reveals that racial segregation was crucial to their appeal. Parks, pools, and playgrounds offered city dwellers room to exercise, relax, and escape urban cares. These gathering spots also gave young people the opportunity to mingle, flirt, and dance. As cities grew more diverse, these social forms of fun prompted white insistence on racially exclusive recreation. Wolcott shows how black activists and ordinary people fought such infringements on their right to access public leisure. In the face of violence and intimidation, they swam at white-only beaches, boycotted discriminatory roller rinks, and picketed Jim Crow amusement parks. When African Americans demanded inclusive public recreational facilities, white consumers abandoned those places. Many parks closed or privatized within a decade of desegregation. Wolcott's book tracks the decline of the urban amusement park and the simultaneous rise of the suburban theme park, reframing these shifts within the civil rights context.

Filled with detailed accounts and powerful insights, Race, Riots, and Roller Coasters brings to light overlooked aspects of conflicts over public accommodations. This eloquent history demonstrates the significance of leisure in American race relations.

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Radical Pacifism in Modern America

Egalitarianism and Protest

By Marian Mollin

Radical Pacifism in Modern America traces cycles of success and decline in the radical wing of the American peace movement, an egalitarian strain of pacifism that stood at the vanguard of antimilitarist organizing and American radical dissent from 1940 to 1970.

Using traditional archival material and oral history sources, Marian Mollin examines how gender and race shaped and limited the political efforts of radical pacifist women and men, highlighting how activists linked pacifism to militant masculinity and privileged the priorities of its predominantly white members. In spite of the invisibility that this framework imposed on activist women, the history of this movement belies accounts that relegate women to the margins of American radicalism and mixed-sex political efforts. Motivated by a strong egalitarianism, radical pacifist women rejected separatist organizing strategies and, instead, worked alongside men at the front lines of the struggle to construct a new paradigm of social and political change. Their compelling examples of female militancy and leadership challenge the essentialist association of female pacifism with motherhood and expand the definition of political action to include women's political work in both the public and private spheres. Focusing on the vexed alliance between white peace activists and black civil rights workers, Mollin similarly details the difficulties that arose at the points where their movements overlapped and challenges the seemingly natural association between peace and civil rights.

Emphasizing the actions undertaken by militant activists, Radical Pacifism in Modern America illuminates the complex relationship between gender, race, activism, and political culture, identifying critical factors that simultaneously hindered and facilitated grassroots efforts at social and political change.

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Smack

Heroin and the American City

By Eric C. Schneider

Why do the vast majority of heroin users live in cities? In his provocative history of heroin in the United States, Eric C. Schneider explains what is distinctively urban about this undisputed king of underworld drugs.

During the twentieth century, New York City was the nation's heroin capital—over half of all known addicts lived there, and underworld bosses like Vito Genovese, Nicky Barnes, and Frank Lucas used their international networks to import and distribute the drug to cities throughout the country, generating vast sums of capital in return. Schneider uncovers how New York, as the principal distribution hub, organized the global trade in heroin and sustained the subcultures that supported its use.

Through interviews with former junkies and clinic workers and in-depth archival research, Schneider also chronicles the dramatically shifting demographic profile of heroin users. Originally popular among working-class whites in the 1920s, heroin became associated with jazz musicians and Beat writers in the 1940s. Musician Red Rodney called heroin the trademark of the bebop generation. "It was the thing that gave us membership in a unique club," he proclaimed. Smack takes readers through the typical haunts of heroin users—52nd Street jazz clubs, Times Square cafeterias, Chicago's South Side street corners—to explain how young people were initiated into the drug culture.

Smack recounts the explosion of heroin use among middle-class young people in the 1960s and 1970s. It became the drug of choice among a wide swath of youth, from hippies in Haight-Ashbury and soldiers in Vietnam to punks on the Lower East Side. Panics over the drug led to the passage of increasingly severe legislation that entrapped heroin users in the criminal justice system without addressing the issues that led to its use in the first place. The book ends with a meditation on the evolution of the war on drugs and addresses why efforts to solve the drug problem must go beyond eliminating supply.

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Sunbelt Capitalism

Phoenix and the Transformation of American Politics

By Elizabeth Tandy Shermer

Few Sunbelt cities burned brighter or contributed more to the conservative movement than Phoenix. In 1910, eleven thousand people called Phoenix home; now, over four million reside in this metropolitan region. In Sunbelt Capitalism, Elizabeth Tandy Shermer tells the story of the city's expansion and its impact on the nation. The dramatic growth of Phoenix speaks not only to the character and history of the Sunbelt but also to the evolution in American capitalism that sustained it.

In the 1930s, Barry Goldwater and other members of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce feared the influence of New Deal planners, small businessmen, and Arizona trade unionists. While Phoenix's business elite detested liberal policies, they were not hostile to government action per se. Goldwater and his contemporaries instead experimented with statecraft now deemed neoliberal. They embraced politics, policy, and federal funding to fashion a favorable "business climate," which relied on disenfranchising voters, weakening unions, repealing regulations, and shifting the tax burden onto homeowners and consumers. These efforts allied them with executives at the helm of the modern conservative movement, whose success partially hinged on relocating factories from the Steelbelt to the kind of free-enterprise oasis that Phoenix represented. But the city did not sprawl in a vacuum. All Sunbelt boosters used the same incentives to compete at a fever pitch for investment, and the resulting drain of jobs and capital from the industrial core forced Midwesterners and Northeasterners into the brawl. Eventually this "Second War Between the States" reoriented American politics toward the principle that the government and the citizenry should be working in the interest of business.

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Sunbelt Rising

The Politics of Space, Place, and Region

Edited by Michelle Nickerson and Darren Dochuk

Coined by Republican strategist Kevin Phillips in 1969 to describe the new alloy of conservatism that united voters across the southern rim of the country, the term "Sunbelt" has since gained currency in the American lexicon. By the early 1970s, the region had come to embody economic growth and an ambitious political culture. With sprawling suburban landscapes, cities like Atlanta, Dallas, and Los Angeles seemed destined to sap influence from the Northeast. Corporate entrepreneurialism and a conservative ethos helped forge the Sunbelt's industrial-labor relations, military spending, education systems, and neighborhood development. Unprecedented migration to the region ensured that these developments worked in concert with sojourners' personal quest for work, family, community, and leisure. In the resplendent Sunbelt the nation seemed to glimpse the American Dream remade.

The essays in Sunbelt Rising deploy new analytic tools to explain this region's dramatic rise. Contributors to the volume study the Sunbelt as both a physical entity and a cultural invention. They examine the raised highway, the sprawling prison complex, and the fast-food restaurant as distinctive material contours of a region. In this same vein they delineate distinctive Sunbelt models of corporate and government organization, which came to shape so many aspects of the nation's political and economic future. Contributors also examine literature, religion, and civic engagement to illustrate how a particular Sunbelt cultural sensibility arose that ordered people's lives in a period of tumultuous change. By exploring the interplay between the Sunbelt as a structurally defined space and a culturally imagined place, Sunbelt Rising addresses longstanding debates about region as a category of analysis.

Published in cooperation with the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University.

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Tax and Spend

The Welfare State, Tax Politics, and the Limits of American Liberalism

By Molly C. Michelmore

Taxes dominate contemporary American politics. Yet while many rail against big government, few Americans are prepared to give up the benefits they receive from the state. In Tax and Spend, historian Molly C. Michelmore examines an unexpected source of this contradiction and shows why many Americans have come to hate government but continue to demand the security it provides.

Tracing the development of taxing and spending policy over the course of the twentieth century, Michelmore uncovers the origins of today's antitax and antigovernment politics in choices made by liberal state builders in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. By focusing on two key instruments of twentieth-century economic and social policy, Aid to Families with Dependent Children and the federal income tax, Tax and Spend explains the antitax logic that has guided liberal policy makers since the earliest days of Franklin Roosevelt's presidency. Grounded in careful archival research, this book reveals that the liberal social compact forged during the New Deal, World War II, and the postwar years included not only generous social benefits for the middle class—including Social Security, Medicare, and a host of expensive but hidden state subsidies—but also a commitment to preserve low taxes for the majority of American taxpayers.

In a surprising twist on conventional political history, Michelmore's analysis links postwar liberalism directly to the rise of the Republican right in the last decades of the twentieth century. Liberals' decision to reconcile public demand for low taxes and generous social benefits by relying on hidden sources of revenues and invisible kinds of public subsidy, combined with their persistent defense of taxpayer rights and suspicion of "tax eaters" on the welfare rolls, not only fueled but helped create the contours of antistate politics at the core of the Reagan Revolution.

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To March for Others

The Black Freedom Struggle and the United Farm Workers

By Lauren Araiza

In 1966, members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, an African American civil rights group with Southern roots, joined Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers union on its 250-mile march from Delano to Sacramento, California, to protest the exploitation of agricultural workers. SNCC was not the only black organization to support the UFW: later on, the NAACP, the National Urban League, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the Black Panther Party backed UFW strikes and boycotts against California agribusiness throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s.

To March for Others explores the reasons why black activists, who were committed to their own fight for equality during this period, crossed racial, socioeconomic, geographic, and ideological divides to align themselves with a union of predominantly Mexican American farm workers in rural California. Lauren Araiza considers the history, ideology, and political engagement of these five civil rights organizations, representing a broad spectrum of African American activism, and compares their attitudes and approaches to multiracial coalitions. Through their various relationships with the UFW, Araiza examines the dynamics of race, class, labor, and politics in twentieth-century freedom movements. The lessons in this eloquent and provocative study apply to a broader understanding of political and ethnic coalition building in the contemporary United States.

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