The Politics and Civics of National Service

The Politics and Civics of National Service

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The author focuses on the history, current relevance, and impact of domestic national service. She argues that only by examining programs over time can we understand national service's successes and limitations, both in terms of its political support and its civic lessons. Through extensive archival and documentary research, supplemented with interviews, this is the first detailed policy history of VISTA and AmeriCorps and of America's main national service programs taken together as a whole. It furthers our understanding of twentieth-century American political development by comparing programs founded during three distinct political eras -- the New Deal, the Great Society, and the early Clinton years -- and tracing them over time. To a remarkable extent, the CCC, VISTA, and AmeriCorps reflect the policymaking ethos and political controversies of their times, illuminating principles that hold well beyond the field of national service and here, the author expertly evaluates the civic effects of national service policy in the context of political development in the United States. At the same time, by emphasizing the programs' effects on citizenship and civic engagement, this volume deepens our understanding of how programs can act as public policy for democracy.Program, Box 1, Records ofACTION, National Archives Record Group 362, p. 1. ... Beetle, a€œVISTA Project Study: FY-1976, Step I Report, a€ p. vi. 155. ... ACTION, Volunteers in Service to America 1980 Activities and Outcome Survey, p. 25. ... In its 2008 survey, 18 percent ofvolunteers serving between 1965 and 1972 stated that a primary reason for enrolling in VISTA was that they a€œwanted to avoid the draft.

Title:The Politics and Civics of National Service
Author:Melissa Bass
Publisher:Brookings Institution Press - 2013


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