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Civic Life

New Volume! “The Professions and Civic Life” arriving June 15, 2016

This volume on the professions and civic life undertakes a unique and timely examination of 12 individual professions to see how each affects the character of American citizenship and the civic culture of the nation through their practices and ethos. What is distinctive — or not — about the specific profession as it came to be practiced in the United States? Given the specialized knowledge, training, and sometimes licensing of a profession, what do the professions perceive to be their role in promoting the larger common good? How can we bring professionals’ expert knowledge to bear on social problems in an open and deliberative way? Is the ethic of a particular profession as it understands itself today at odds with the American conception of self-government and a healthy civic life?

Through analysis of these questions, the chapters present a rich treatment of how the 12 long-standing professions of political science, teaching, the law, the military, economics, medicine, journalism, literature, science, architecture, music, and history help support and challenge the general public’s civic behavior in general and their attachment to the American regime in particular.

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The Future of Journalism and Citzenship

In the latest addition to our “Professions and Civic Culture” series, Christopher Caldwell from The Weekly Standard discusses the evolving role of journalism in American public life. The essay, “The Future of Journalism and Citizenship,” considers the intimate relationship journalism has with citizenship, and argues that the information revolution has fundamentally altered that relationship.

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Music and Civic Life in America

In our latest policy brief, Ashbrook Center fellow David Tucker and musician Nathan Tucker consider the place of music in our civic culture. The authors note how American civic music has changed over time, becoming less religious, less programmatic, and more sentimental. In describing the evolution of American music, they touch on a range of styles and genres, from jazz to the American musical to Aaron Copland’s civic music to the folk music of the Sixties to the gangster rap of Tupac Shakur.

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House Appropriations Subcommittee denies Eisenhower Memorial funding

In the latest in the long saga regarding Frank Gehry’s proposed design for the Eisenhower Memorial (more background here), yesterday the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies unveiled a draft bill that would deny the $59.8 million budgetary request by the Eisenhower Memorial Commission.

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