Government in Rural America

Government in Rural America

Government in Rural America

Government in Rural America

Excerpt

PREFACE

This book is intended to describe the government and administration of the rural county, township and school district in the United States. Areas bearing these names are found, it is true, even in populous urban territory, but these are not discussed here, since their really typical representatives are found in the country.

In a country as vast as the United States the student of local government and administration is beset by many difficulties. The subject is best understood, no doubt, by examining studies dealing with concrete local situations. Numerous studies of this sort have appeared in all parts of the nation within recent years, but they are normally not readily accessible to undergraduate students nor suitable to the needs of busy citizens.

In this book I have tried to construct a picture of government in rural areas as a going concern. In a sense the book may be regarded as an attempt to summarize the findings of special studies. Whether the summarizing has been well done; whether the emphasis has been placed where it belongs; and whether such interpretations as are ventured are justified by the facts— these are for the reader to determine. Relatively little attention has been paid to the legal aspects of the subject. For this no apology is offered in view of the fact that this point of view is stressed in books readily available. Furthermore, what is found in the statute books is by no means a safe guide to what goes on in the field. Men are indeed ingenious in devising laws; they are often even more ingenious in ignoring them. What I have tried to keep steadily in mind is the fact that government on the local level is an affair of the personal prejudices, ambitions, hopes, and aspirations of real people, who are im-

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