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Chautauqua Moment Protestants, Progressives, and the Culture of Modern Liberalism, 1874-1920

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ISBN-10: 0231126425

ISBN-13: 9780231126427

Edition: 2003

Authors: Andrew Chamberlin Rieser

List price: $60.00
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This book traces the rise and decline of what Theodore Roosevelt once called the "most American thing in America." The Chautauqua movement began in 1874 on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in western New York. More than a college or a summer resort or a religious assembly, it was a composite of all of these -- completely derivative yet brilliantly innovative. For five decades, Chautauqua dominated adult education and reached millions with its summer assemblies, reading clubs, and traveling circuits. Scholars have long struggled to make sense of Chautauqua's pervasive yet disorganized presence in American life. In this critical study, Andrew Rieser weaves the threads of Chautauqua into a single story and places it at the vital center of fin de sicle cultural and political history. Famous for its commitment to democracy, women's rights, and social justice, Chautauqua was nonetheless blind to issues of class and race. How could something that trumpeted democracy be so undemocratic in practice? The answer, Rieser argues, lies in the historical experience of the white, Protestant middle classes, who struggled to reconcile their parochial interests with radically new ideas about social progress and the state. The Chautauqua Moment brings color to a colorless demographic and spins a fascinating tale of modern liberalism's ambivalent but enduring cultural legacy.
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Book details

List price: $60.00
Copyright year: 2003
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 11/5/2003
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 416
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.540
Language: English

Andrew C. Rieser is a past fellow of the Pew Program in religion and American history at Yale University and has taught at several universities in New York and the Midwest.

Introduction: Chautauqua's Liberal Creed
An American Forum: Methodist Camp Meetings and the Rise of Social Christianity
Camp Meetings and Terra Spiritualis
Never on Sunday
From Far Points to Fair Point
The Never-ending Vacation: Boosters, Tourists, and the Fantasyscape of Chautauqua
Sizing the Independent Assembly Movement
Nature Worship and Stealth Cosmopolitanism
Better Than a Mill: The Booster's Chautauqua
Railroads Redux
Magic Lands
The Never-ending Vacation: Chautauqua Suburbs
Canopy of Culture: Democracy under the Big Tent of Prosperity
Lewis Miller: Communitarian Philanthropist
John Heyl Vincent: Chautauqua Patriarch
The Lyceum and Mechanics' Institutes
Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle
Jasper Douthit: Chautauqua's Political Turn
Joseph Maximilian Hark: Moravian for Middlebrow Culture
Catholics Respond
The Liberalism of Whiteness: Webs of Region, Race, and Nationalism in the Chautauqua Movement
From Anglo-Saxonism to White Americanism
Chautauqua and the Midwest
An Invitation to the White South
Racial Patriotism and the Spanish-American War
Progressivism and the Black Presence at Chautauqua
Lessons in Orientalism
From Parlor to Politics: Chautauqua and the Institutionalization of Middle-Class Womanhood
Who Belonged to the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle?
Men in the Minority
The Fraternity of Intellect
Integrating the CLSC
From Temperance to Suffrage
Chautauqua Novels
Women as Managers: Kate Kimball's Bureaucracy
"Women's Clatter" in the Public Sphere
Useful Knowledge and Its Critics: The Messiness of Popular Education in the 1890s
Chautauqua and the University Extension Movement
Revolt of the Intellectuals
"I Like Something Doing": Masculinities at Chautauqua
Delsarte and the Natural Expression Movement
Business, Correspondence, and Normal Schools
Success through Failure: Chautauqua in the Progressive Era
The Ambiguous Career of City Beautiful
Libraries, Parks, and Lecture Series
The Trouble with the Assemblies
The Theater of Politics in the Progressive Era
Departure of the Fundamentalists
Circuit Chautauquas and the Corporate Reorganization of Culture
From Liberal Creed to Secular Liberalism: Shelbyville, Illinois
The Great War and the Agony of the Circuits
Conclusion: Failure Through Success?