Fitzgerald, Michael R.; Neuse, Steven M.; Welborn, David M.
June 1984
Public Administration Quarterly;Summer84, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p138
Academic Journal
This article provides information on the achievements made by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) as an administrative body in the U.S. in its second fifty years of service, as of summer 1984. A child of the Depression, the Authority has had a profound effect on the American political ethos evoking spirited debates concerning certain fundamental principles and practices related to democratic governance. Four features of the TVA experience are particularly significant. First, since its inception, the TVA has provided a focal point for debate about the relationship of a government to its people, especially the role of the bureaucratic branch of government in a democracy. The TVA, as a regional federal agency, was charged with the responsibility for establishing satisfactory relationships with all manner and types of government bodies, from local to state and national. Also, the TVA, through its most influential spokesman, David Lilienthal, can be credited with the popularization of the concept articulated first by Alf Landon in 1935 for grass roots democracy.


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