Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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The article ¡°America¡¯s Search for a New Public Philosophy¡± by Michael J. Sandel and the books The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction By Linda Gordon, Christ In Concrete by Pietro di Donato, and Dr. America: The Lives of Thomas A. Dooley 1927- 1961 by James T. Fisher, provide a journey through American culture from the turn of the century to the 1960s. The books both support and contradict Sandel¡¯s argument of American public philosophy throughout this time in America. The contradictions consist of At the turn of the last century there were many reforms taking place in what turned into the progressive era. During this era there were many new things happening, such as religious social movements, and women getting involved in politics by starting the temperance movement. Machine politics also took hold in this era, where immigrants were giving perks for their votes. People began to reform through political patronage and civil service.

Political parties held very different views, the Republicans were the party of native whites and they were moral reformers and wanted to reform the immigrant¡¯s way of doing things. The Democratic Party was associated with Catholics, immigrants and workers, and many of the reforms that took place were aimed at Democratic institutions (class notes 1/18/02). It was also a time of big business and immigrant assimilation. These things posed a threat to Americans because, ¡°Americans sensed the unraveling of community and feared for the prospects of self-government¡±(Sandel 59). The public philosophy at the turn of the 19th century was republican theory. The people of mainstream America felt that government should provide certain kinds of virtues and habits to make citizens self-governing and show people what the good life consisted of (Sandel 58). In the book, The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction Linda Gordon shows many of these...