Thursday, September 19, 2013

New Acquisition

From the library book sale, Terry Sanford's Storm over the States (1967).

Sanford was a liberal governor of North Carolina in the 1960s. In the book he talks about the problems with a federal takeover of spheres of responsibility that were previously occupied by the states. He makes the case for an active/reformist federalism.

Some of you may know that this is a personal interest of mine and the publication date of this book is of particular interest. My most important guidepost on an active, reformist federalism is my great grandfather, who had some of the same ambitions for Maryland when he presided over the (unsuccessful) state constitutional convention of 1967-68.

My (still developing) view of the problems of that time and the prospects for this sort of federalism is that hopes were dashed with the events of 1968 and with consolidation of the Great Society programs (which had already gone into effect a couple years before). States rights and federalism got a reactionary tinge and the reformists were all working at the federal level. Things could have played out differently, but they didn't.

Some things changed with the Clinton administration, but in relatively minor ways.

One day, when I'm less buried, I'd love to make more of this "stillborn reformist federalism of the 1960s" project. At this point, though, I probably won't get around to looking at this Sanford book until 201?. 15? 16? We'll see.

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