Planning with the People: Jess Gilbert on the “Intended” New Deal

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  1. Hans Bakker says:

    I enjoyed reading the interview and plan to read the book. It is fascinating to get a clearer idea of what the agrarian Mid-West ideals of participatory democracy meant in the 1930s. It is also very useful to know more about the history of different currents within the New Deal. I liked the fact the interview allowed me to go back to the article in the American Sociological Review that deals with state and society. I learned a number of things about the project that I had not yet learned from speaking with Jess Gilbert about his book as he was working on it. We had a discussion about the term “democracy.” It can mean many things to many people, of course. The relationship between education and democracy is important to study in more depth. There were many highly educated and very well trained people in Germany in the 1930s. It is not clear that “education” is a good predictor. A history of democratic institutions is important but many of the most “democratic” people in the U.S. were not highly educated. Abraham Lincoln barely had one year of “formal” grade school education in a country school house. Thank you for an interesting interview with a very important scholar.

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