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Grant number: FB-56988-13

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Elaine T. May
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (Minneapolis, MN 55455-0433)

The American Quest for Security

Since World War II, Americans across the political and economic spectrum have come to believe that the world is a dangerous place and that individuals are responsible for their own protection. This preoccupation with personal security transcends culture wars and partisan politics, weaving its way tightly into the fabric of American society. Influenced by a long tradition of individualism and self-reliance, a new concern with both national and personal security took shape in the early years of the Cold War. This project investigates domestic security culture over the last half century. Why did new approaches to personal security emerge? What paths did American citizens pursue to achieve security in their own lives? How widely accepted were the imperatives of the security culture, and who resisted them? This project will illuminate how individual citizens shaped, embraced, or challenged security culture, and how American social, political, and cultural life changed as a result.

Project fields:
U.S. History

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2013 – 8/31/2014