John Dewey and American Democracy / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $4.65
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 83%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (20) from $4.65   
  • New (6) from $17.10   
  • Used (14) from $4.65   


'Far and away the best book on (Dewey) yet. Westbrook's intellectual scholarship at its finest--a very unusual combination of vast learning, dialectical acuity and literary skill....This book will do a great deal to make Dewey more available and plausible, and to help his writings shape the imagination of a new generation of Americans.'--Richard Rorty, New Leader
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Neither a straight biography nor a narrow work of scholarship, John Dewey and American Democracy offers instead a briskly readable narrative of Dewey's lifework, focusing on his advocacy of democracy. . . . Westbrook's reconstruction of Dewey's evolving thought is detailed, sympathetic, and lucid."—The Nation
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Highly regarded but largely unread today, Dewey is generally considered a pragmatist in the mainstream of American liberalism. This exciting portrait of the philosopher as an advocate of participatory democracy and a political activist presents him as a more radical voice than is generally assumed. Although the anti-Stalinist thinker cared little for Marx and was quick to see the repressive nature of Soviet collectivism, he considered himself a democratic socialist in the 1920s and '30s, and questioned corporate capitalism's capacity to promote democratic values. Dewey often is blamed for ``aimless'' progressive education, but Westbrook, a historian at the University of Rochester, argues that his actual impact on U.S. schools was limited, and examines Dewey's vision of the school as a laboratory fostering social, cooperative impulses instead of competitive, selfish individualism. This study, intellectual biography of the highest order, reevaluates Dewey's thought as a signpost for the revitalization of democracy. Photos. June
Library Journal
Westbrook places the development of Dewey's political and social theory in the context of his metaphysical views as historically developed. For Dewey, the social good is joined to individual development. Thus, democracy is an ethical ideal rather than a mere practical accommodation. To deny the human capacity to judge and act intelligently, given appropriate enabling conditions, while swearing allegiance to democracy, Westbrook notes, was for Dewey a form of treachery. Westbrook claims that contemporary liberal-democratic ideology is treacherous in these terms. So, contrary to the prevailing view, he sees Dewey's as a radical voice, out of the mainstream, for liberalism and democracy. With the so-called ``linguistic turn'' in philosophy fading and philosophy building bridges to other disciplines and doors among the rooms in its own house, Dewey is recently being ``rediscovered.'' This treatment is thorough and instructive. It thus belongs in any library that would consider it.-- Bruce Um baugh, Univ. of Maryland, College Park
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801481116
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/1993
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 592
  • Product dimensions: 6.01 (w) x 9.07 (h) x 1.35 (d)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)