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"Americans used to sacrifice for the public good. What happened?"

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Christopher McKnight Nichols & Brandon Jett

During the 1918 influenza pandemic, which was happening at the same time as World War I, Americans were for the most part unified in their willingness to sacrifice for the common good. And this willingness to respond collectively continued during World War II. But, while public health officials have urged Americans to do their part to stem the spread of the coronavirus by doing things like avoiding large gatherings and wearing masks millions of people have refused. We explore what’s changed, and why, with the co-authors of a recent Washington Post op-ed called “Americans used to sacrifice for the public good. What happened?” Brandon Jett, professor of history at Florida SouthWestern State College; and Christopher McKnight Nichols, Associate Professor in the School of History, Philosophy, and Religion at Oregon State University and director of its Center for the Humanities.

And we hear the third in a five-part series of stories by Florida Public Radio’s Lyn Hatter called “Committed: Florida’s Children Victims Of Dysfunctional Baker Act System” which explores what happens when kids get committed.