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Heroism in a democracy

May 18, 2011

Okay, another book I think looks interesting:

Ordinary heroes and American democracy / Gerald M. Pomper

It’s blurb: “Heroism in a democracy is different from the heroism of myths and legends, says Gerald M. Pomper in this original and thoughtful book. Through the 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.” “Five of these telling portraits are of governmental heroes: Representative Peter Rodino, who oversaw impeachment proceedings against President Richard Nixon; Senator Arthur Watkins, who chaired the committee that recommended the censure of Senator Joseph McCarthy; President Harry Truman, who won approval of the Marshall Plan; federal district judge William Wayne Justice, who extended constitutional equality to children of undocumented aliens; and Dr. Frances Kelsey, who prohibited the deadly drug thalidomide in the United States.” “Pomper draws portraits of three heroes from outside the halls of government: Thurlow Weed, who urged the reelection of President Lincoln; Ida Tarbell, whose newspaper articles led to the breakup of the Standard Oil monopoly; and Representative John Lewis, who was a young leader of the civil rights movement.” (my emphases)

So it seems, a hero still exists because a crisis exists, but I guess if the crisis changes, the hero does too? How? To what? What about us in NZ?


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