Cover image for Ordinary heroes and American democracy
Title:
Ordinary heroes and American democracy
Author:
Pomper, Gerald M.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New Haven : Yale University Press, [2004]

©2004
Physical Description:
x, 301 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Language:
English
Contents:
We call them heroes -- Models of American heroism -- Peter Rodino, a hero of the House -- Arthur Watkins, a hero of the Senate -- Harry Truman, a hero as president -- Wayne Justice, a hero of the judiciary -- Frances Kelsey, a hero of bureaucracy -- Thurlow Weed, a hero in party politics -- Ida Tarbell, a hero of the press -- John Lewis, a hero of social movements -- Ordinary heroes and American democracy.
ISBN:
9780300100358
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

True American heroes need not have superhuman abilities nor do they need to act alone. Heroism in a democracy is different from the heroism of myths and legends, says Gerald Pomper in this original and thoughtful book. Through the remarkable stories of eight diverse Americans who acted as heroes during national crises, he offers a new definition of heroism and new reasons to respect American institutions and the people who work within them. Pomper describes how responsible, good individuals can emerge as heroes from such core democratic institutions as the House of Representatives, the Senate, the courts, the presidency, and the press. From the censure of Senator Joseph McCarthy to the prohibition of the dangerous drug thalidomide in the United States, American heroes just doing their jobs have played crucial roles in resolving national problems. Pomper considers why democratic heroism is unique and explores the special bond between America's political institutions and the heroes they empower.