Government's Greatest Achievements
From Civil Rights to Homeland Security
By (author) Paul Charles Light
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Government's Greatest Achievements by Paul Charles Light
Book DescriptionIn an era of promises to create smaller, more limited government, Americans often forget that the federal government has amassed an extraordinary record of successes over the past half century. Despite seemingly insurmountable odds, it helped rebuild Europe after World War II, conquered polio and other life-threatening diseases, faced down communism, attacked racial discrimination, reduced poverty among the elderly, and put men on the moon. In Government's Greatest Achievements, Paul C. Light explores the federal government's most successful accomplishments over the previous five decades and anticipates the most significant challenges of the next half century. While some successes have come through major legislation such as the 1965 Medicare Act, or large-scale efforts like the Apollo space program, most have been achieved through collections of smaller, often unheralded statutes. Drawing on survey responses from 230 historians and 220 political scientists at colleges and universities nationwide, Light ranks and summarizes the fifty greatest government achievements from 1944 to 1999. The achievements were ranked based on difficulty, importance, and degree of success. Through a series of twenty vignettes, he paints a vivid picture of the most intense government efforts to improve the quality of life both at home and abroad ufrom enhancing health care and workplace safety, to expanding home ownership, to improving education, to protecting endangered species, to strengthening the national defense. The book also examines how Americans perceive government's greatest achievements, and reveals what they consider to be its most significant failures. America is now calling on the government to resolve another complex, difficult problem: the defeat of terrorism. Light concludes by discussing this enormous task, as well as government's other greatest priorities for the next fifty years.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780815706045
(229mm x 152mm x 23mm)
Imprint: Brookings Institution
Publisher: Brookings Institution
Publish Date: 30-Apr-2002
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Paul Charles Light
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Fourth in a series of reports on the changing nature of public service in government and the nonprofit sector, Pathways to Excellence focuses on a unique survey of contemporary thinking about creating effective nonprofit organizations.
President's Agenda, Paperback (December 1998)
Although there are important differences between the two Presidents, not the least of which is Bush's high proportion of small-scale, old ideas, the two share a pronounced tendency to look backward for inspiration rather than forward."-from the Preface
Tides of Reform, Paperback (October 1998)» View all books by Paul Charles Light
Since 1945, the Congresses and Presidents of the United States have made many efforts to improve the performance of the federal government. This text examines the most important reform statutes passed and concludes that the problem is not too little reform but too much.
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Author Biography - Paul Charles Light
Paul C. Light is the Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service at New York University, USA. He is also Douglas Dillon Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, where he founded the Center for Public Service. Light is the author of numerous books on public service and management, among them Pathways to Nonprofit Excellence (2002), Government's Greatest Achievements (2002), Making Nonprofits Work (2000), and The New Public Service (1999).
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