The following is the conference paper I’d planned to give at the 2014 Society of US Intellectual Historians Conference in Indianapolis. Once again, I apologize for not being able to make it, as my travel plans fell through at the last moment.
Consider this paper as a brief sketch of some key themes to consider in regards to the Rainbow Coalition of the 1980s. And, of course, keep in mind that you’ll be seeing much more about this topic down the road. –RG2
Andrew Hartman’s Comments on “No Bound For Riches Has Been Fixed For Man: Greed and the Intellectual History of Twentieth-Century American Capitalism” Panel
Here are Andrew Hartman’s incisive comments on the panel “No Bound For Riches Has Been Fixed For Man: Greed and the Intellectual History of Twentieth-Century American Capitalism,” convened recently at the S-USIH conference in Indianapolis. Interested readers can find the panel abstract here. Andy Seal’s paper on Dale Carnegie and the links between greed and “insincerity” is here; Robin Marie Averbeck’s paper on the deep psychic structure underlying the trope of the poor-as-greedy is here; Kurt Newman on greed and the 1980s is here. (more…)
Note to readers: Kevin Schultz presented the essay below as part of the S-USIH 2014 Plenary Roundtable in Honor of the Annual Book Award Recipient and Honorable Mentions. The book prize committee selected Ajay K. Mehrotra’s Making the Modern American Fiscal State: Law, Politics, and the Rise of Progressive Taxation, 1877-1929 as this year’s winner and singled out for honorable mention Raúl Coronado’s A World Not to Come: A History of Latino Writing and Print Culture. In the essay below, Schultz discusses the field of entrants from which these two books were chosen.
State of the Field
by Kevin Schultz
In 2012, David Hollinger penned an article for Modern Intellectual History entitled “What is our ‘Canon’? How American Intellectual Historians Debate the Core of their Field.” In the article, he described the process of soliciting opinions from faculty around the country on how the canon of American intellectual history has changed over the past thirty years, how he and his co-editor Charlie Capper debated requests for new entries. The article is a fun read, in part because it’s clear how much Hollinger and Capper have already thought about nearly everything you can think of that they should add, but also because they draw some summaries about our field, the most revealing of which, to me anyway, is that over the past thirty or so years, American intellectual historians have increasingly focused on political ideas and social theory at the expense of philosophy and literary culture. Hollinger cautions us against what he sees as an increasing focus on ideas-in-action because it risks, and I quote, “cutting off inquiries that are of great value to the profession and to the public that we ultimately serve, especially at a time when the studies carried out under the sign of ‘cultural history’ usually attend to only the most general of philosophical ideas and the most popular of literary works.”
I had this article in mind as I embarked on the process of reading this year’s entries for the Society’s Award for Best Book in American Intellectual History. I wanted to see if that thesis bore out. (more…)
This is the third paper from the panel “No Bound For Riches Has Been Fixed For Man: Greed and the Intellectual History of Twentieth-Century American Capitalism,” convened at the recent S-USIH conference in Indianapolis. The panel abstract is here; Andy Seal’s paper is here and Robin Marie Averbeck’s paper is here. Andrew Hartman’s comments will be posted tomorrow. (more…)
The following is a guest post from Nicole Hemmer, who is a visiting assistant professor at the University of Miami and a research associate at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. She also writes for media outlets, including a weekly column for US News and World Report and articles in on conservative politics and history for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and the Atlantic.
The following paper was given by Robin Marie Averbeck at the S-USIH Conference in Indianapolis as part of the panel titled, “No Bound For Riches Has Been Fixed For Man: Greed and the Intellectual History of Twentieth-Century American Capitalism.” Read the introduction to the panel here, and the first paper by Andy Seal here. Kurt Newman’s paper will be posted tomorrow, with my comments on the whole panel to follow. Enjoy.
In 1967, Sargent Shriver, director of the Office of Economic Opportunity, defended President Johnson’s War on Poverty in the House of Representatives. “Every one of these programs,” Shriver said, “can be perverted into a form of the dole – paternalistic, unilateral and degrading.” Johnson’s new programs, however, would be different. As Shriver explained, “the poverty program must stake its existence on that same ideal upon which our nation gambled from the outset: Democracy. Community action is the democratic antidote to the dole.”
Now, I want to worm my way into my talk today by unpacking this quote. What is Shriver saying? At first blush, his point seems obvious – in touting the democratic, grass-roots nature of the federal anti-poverty programs known as Community Action, Shriver is appealing to the spirit of participatory democracy so prevalent in the political atmosphere of the mid-1960s, and associating Johnson’s reforms with that movement. (more…)