‘Tis the season for dissertation defenses, apparently, and I’m participating in two over the next 48 hours. One concerns abortion escorts, those people who voluntarily walk women into abortion clinics that are surrounded by anti-abortion protesters. The other is a history of congressional pages, those boys (and now also girls) who work for the House and Senate while they attend a special school. The page program is formal and rather prestigious. The escorts are at the opposite extreme: they do not even have an organization, let alone an official place inside the US Capitol. Yet both groups represent particularly intense and demanding forms of “citizenship.”
Steve turned me on to your blog and your book on the Progressive Era, so it’s a bit uncanny to see you mention him here, however elliptically. In any case, his dissertation is great stuff, so do treat him well tomorrow!