The Reconstruction of Patriotism

Education for Civic Consciousness

Morris Janowitz

The Reconstruction of Patriotism
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Morris Janowitz

234 pages | © 1983
Cloth $47.50 ISBN: 9780226393049 Published November 1983
"A meticulous, well-tuned examination of what Janowitz says is the decline of civic thought in America, and what might be done to restore it. . . . The patriotism Janowitz proposes to reconstruct is not the sort of narrow nationalism your political science professor may have warned you about—patriotism as 'the last refuge of a scoundrel.' It is instead a patriotism that intelligently appreciates life in a (however imperfect) democratic land."—Robert Marquand, The Christian Science Monitor

"In The Reconstruction of Patriotism, Morris Janowitz . . . places a national-service program on the national agenda. . . . Like William James, Janowitz envisions government enrolling young people to work for a year or two at subsistence pay, doing jobs that benefit society—working with, say, 'conservation, health, or old-age problems.' He believes that we need a service program because since the end of the Second World War our citizens (and, indeed, citizens of almost all the advanced industrial nations) have become more keenly aware of their rights than of their obligations, and generations are growing up with little or no understanding that they are members of a national community and have responsibilities to it—that they must give as well as take. . . . Because it reopens discussion of our wider obligations and how to fulfill them, Mr. Janowitz's thoughtful book is in itself a national service."—Naomi Bliven, The New Yorker


"Morris Janowitz examines an issue that seldom is subject to social and political analysis—patriotism. His thesis is clear: The long-term trend in politics has been to enhance citizen rights without effective articulation of citizen obligations. A meaningful balance between the two, he contends, must be restored. . . . The strength of this study lies in Janowitz's persuasive argument that the durability and vitality of democratic institutions require that a sense of community, or shared values, be preserved. Without civiz consciousness, he rightly observes, social and political fragmentation ensues. . . . A lucid and impressively researched polemic."—W. Wesley McDonald, American Political Science Review


"Janowitz addresses a seminal issue: how to restore the sense of shared civic responsibility that has fallen victim in recent years to our growing preoccupation with individual rights and the rise of special-interest groups. . . . Central to his prescription is the revival of the concept of the citizen soldier, whose importance since pre-Revolutionary War days Janoqitz discusses at length. He concludes, 'There can be no reconstruction of patriotism without a system of national service.' . . . An important book. I highly recommend it."—Washington Monthly
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