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George Bernard Shaw's New Deal for America

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Abstract:

On April 11, 1933, George Bernard Shaw addressed the American people in a nationwide radio broadcast from the Metropolitan Opera House. Sponsored by the Academy of Political Science, this was the only speech Shaw ever gave on American soil. The seventy-seven year old Anglo-Irish playwright and intellectual celebrity was at this time, according to some scholars, perhaps the most famous person on Earth. Often hailed as a "prophet" of political, economic, cultural, and even spiritual change, Shaw was also well known for his many stinging criticisms of the United States. He had now chosen a supremely dramatic moment, at the bottom of the Great Depression and just weeks into F. D. Roosevelt's first presidential term, "to say some unpopular but necessary things" to the Americans "before I die."
Shaw's startling talk offered Americans a new deal of his own. They could save their country and finally earn the respect of their severest critic by constructing a new constitution to replace their historic "Charter of Anarchism"; a change that would make possible a peaceful transition from capitalism to socialism. Putting his hosts decidedly on the spot, Shaw declared that this task was "the most pressing job" and only true purpose of the Academy of Political Science!
This paper will examine Shaw's challenge to America and the responses it provoked, in the context of his evolving political philosophy and his paradoxical public image as both a great sage and a mischievous "mountebank." I will also discuss the relevance of Shaw's proposal to the constitutional problems that faced the Roosevelt administration until the late 1930s and their resolution.
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Association:
Name: Northeastern Political Science Association
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http://www.northeasternpsa.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p380618_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Willis, Wayne. "George Bernard Shaw's New Deal for America" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Northeastern Political Science Association, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Philadelphia, PA, Nov 19, 2009 <Not Available>. 2014-11-28 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p380618_index.html>

APA Citation:

Willis, W. C. , 2009-11-19 "George Bernard Shaw's New Deal for America" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Northeastern Political Science Association, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Philadelphia, PA <Not Available>. 2014-11-28 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p380618_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: On April 11, 1933, George Bernard Shaw addressed the American people in a nationwide radio broadcast from the Metropolitan Opera House. Sponsored by the Academy of Political Science, this was the only speech Shaw ever gave on American soil. The seventy-seven year old Anglo-Irish playwright and intellectual celebrity was at this time, according to some scholars, perhaps the most famous person on Earth. Often hailed as a "prophet" of political, economic, cultural, and even spiritual change, Shaw was also well known for his many stinging criticisms of the United States. He had now chosen a supremely dramatic moment, at the bottom of the Great Depression and just weeks into F. D. Roosevelt's first presidential term, "to say some unpopular but necessary things" to the Americans "before I die."
Shaw's startling talk offered Americans a new deal of his own. They could save their country and finally earn the respect of their severest critic by constructing a new constitution to replace their historic "Charter of Anarchism"; a change that would make possible a peaceful transition from capitalism to socialism. Putting his hosts decidedly on the spot, Shaw declared that this task was "the most pressing job" and only true purpose of the Academy of Political Science!
This paper will examine Shaw's challenge to America and the responses it provoked, in the context of his evolving political philosophy and his paradoxical public image as both a great sage and a mischievous "mountebank." I will also discuss the relevance of Shaw's proposal to the constitutional problems that faced the Roosevelt administration until the late 1930s and their resolution.


Similar Titles:
Transatlantic Travails: America and Reunited Europe During the Presidencies of George H.W. and George W. Bush

Hemispheric Concerns: The Policies of George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush vis-à-vis the Americas


 
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