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Civics in Action Books

Civic Engagement through Literature

EDSITEment! National Endowmnet for the Humanities  NEH Governement

 "The May-pole of Merry Mount" by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Appeared in Hawthorne's first collection of stories, Twice Told Tales. This morality tale set in Puritan New England takes us deeply into the American soul, with its dark motives, conflicting aspirations, and moral struggles.

Benjamin Franklin's Virtues "The Project of Moral Perfection" - written in his 79th year, it is a knowing look back to when, at age 22, he undertook "the bold and arduous project of arriving at moral perfection."

"Speech to the Third Army" by George S. Patton, Jr. given on June 5, 1944; the eve of the Allied invasion of Europe is taken from The Unknown Patton, by Charles M. Province. How does Patton seek to encourage courage while appealing to the honor of his men? And how does he succeed?

"The Namesake" by Willa Cather is set in Paris at the turn of the 20th century. In portraying the story of a great sculptor's own American 'homecoming" it illuminates the dep sources of artistic creation. The subject elads to a reflection on the relation of the flag to our American identity. 

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Civics in Action

Participatory Politics

"Participatory Politics"

Participatory Politics are interactive, peer-based acts through which individuals and groups seek to exert both voice and influence on issues of public concern through the following types of activities:

  • Investigation - Members of a community collect, and analyze online information from multiple sources, and often provide a check on information circulated by traditional media outlets.
  • Dialogue and feedback - Commenting on blogs, or providing feedback to political leaders through other digital means is increasingly how young people are joining public dialogues and making their voices heard around civic and political issues.
  • Circulation - In participatory politics, the flow of information is shaped by many in the broader community rather than by a small group of elites. 
  • Production - In addition to circulating information young people increasingly create original online digital content around issues of public concern that potentially reach broader audiences.
  • Mobilization - Members of a community mobilize others often through online networks to help accomplish civic or political goals."
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