Henry Steele Commager: Midcentury Liberalism and the History of the Present / Edition 1

Henry Steele Commager: Midcentury Liberalism and the History of the Present / Edition 1

by Neil Jumonville
     
 

ISBN-10: 0807824488

ISBN-13: 9780807824481

Pub. Date: 03/01/1999

Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press

Historian Henry Steele Commager (1902-98) was one of the leading American intellectuals of the mid-twentieth century. Author or editor of more than forty books, he taught for decades at New York University, Columbia University, and Amherst College and was a pioneer in the field of American studies. But Commager's work was by no means confined to the halls of the…  See more details below

Overview

Historian Henry Steele Commager (1902-98) was one of the leading American intellectuals of the mid-twentieth century. Author or editor of more than forty books, he taught for decades at New York University, Columbia University, and Amherst College and was a pioneer in the field of American studies. But Commager's work was by no means confined to the halls of the university: a popular essayist, lecturer, and political commentator, he earned a reputation as an activist for liberal causes and waged public campaigns against McCarthyism in the 1950s and the Vietnam War in the 1960s. In this book, Neil Jumonville uses Commager's career to explore a number of themes central to the intellectual history of postwar America. Examining the relationship between the midcentury generation of scholars and the baby boomer generation now in the university, he reassesses the legacy of the 1940s and 1950s and illuminates the background of the culture wars of today. He also offers a reevaluation of the ideas in the liberalism of the period, including a common American identity and shared culture, pragmatism, compromise, freedom of speech, and the benefits of at least a modest consensus on goals - ideas that in recent years have taken quite a beating in the public arena.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807824481
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
03/01/1999
Edition description:
1
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.71(d)

Table of Contents

Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments

Part I. Intellectuals and Historians
1. The Formation of a Public Intellectual, 1902-1932
2. Philosophy Teaching by Experience, 1928-1936
3. Columbia and New York in the Forties, 1938-1950

Part II. Freedom and the American Century
4. Protecting Liberalism in World War II, 1939-1947
5. Anticommunism and McCarthyism, 1945-1960
6. University, Family, and Race, 1945-1968
7. The Call to Political Morality, 1964-1974

Part III. The Meaning of the American Past
8. The Character and Myth of Historians at Midcentury, 1937-1997
9. Liberals and the Historical Past, 1948-1997
10. Legacies, 1971-1997

Notes
Index

Illustrations

Adam Dan, Henry Steele Commager's maternal grandfather
Henry Steele Commager at age fourteen
Henry Steele Commager and the New York University history department, 1927
Merle Curti, 1944
Allan Nevins, late 1920s
Henry Steele Commager, 1940s
Samuel Eliot Morison, 1940
Henry Steele Commager campaigning against McCarthyism
Arthur Schlesinger Jr., May 1965
William Leuchtenburg, November 1948
Harold Hyman and his wife, Ferne, 1952
Evan Commager with children Nell, Lisa, and Steele
Henry Steele Commager and Allan Nevins, 1963
Henry Steele Commager, 1954
Richard Hofstadter, 1960s
Henry Steele Commager, 1977

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