American Public Administration: Past, Present, Future

American Public Administration: Past, Present, Future

American Public Administration: Past, Present, Future

American Public Administration: Past, Present, Future

Excerpt

FREDERICK C. MOSHER Doherty Professor, University of Virginia

The readers of this volume should not expect, and will not find, a series of smooth-flowing, contiguous essays on the history of thought in the field of public administration. This is partly because of the way in which the papers were written. Each author was given a block of time in the past, present, or future and some suggestions as to what kinds of material seemed important and relevant during the period he was treating. But each also had virtually complete sovereignty on the subject matter he would treat, the emphasis to be assigned different topics, and the manner in which the material should be organized. Thus, to a major extent, each essay is an independent contribution that could stand by itself, associated with the others only loosely by the threads of time. Some subsequent editorial suggestions were offered to minimize obvious overlapping and inconsistencies, but these essays remain essentially independent contributions, written by scholars of eminence, each of whom had particular experience in and acquaintance with the period of which he wrote.

A second reason for differences in the style and content of the essays that follow is that the periods of which the various authors wrote were, in most cases, so different from each other. For example, much of what seemed and was important before the Great Depression became quite suddenly almost irrelevant during the New Deal and World War II. And the intellectual ferment in the social (behavioral) sciences, treated with such insight by Professor Fesler, was probably the most distinguishing feature of . . .

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