Liberty, Justice, Order: Essays on Past Politics

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The essays in this book focus on particular questions, like the historical relationship between race and poverty, or the constraining influence of children's literature. Some essays explore particular episodes like the foreign 'scare' after World War I.
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Overview

The essays in this book focus on particular questions, like the historical relationship between race and poverty, or the constraining influence of children's literature. Some essays explore particular episodes like the foreign 'scare' after World War I.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Can politics and government foster social justice and economic equality in American society? That question animates this collection of 13 thoughtful essays and reviews written during the last 45 years for such publications as the New Republic and Yale Review . Blum, a Yale professor of history emeritus and author of such books as V Was for Victory , presents Franklin Roosevelt as a reformer who wanted to enlarge the middle class while preserving the corporation as an engine of capitalism. He praises the record of the Supreme Court under Chief Justice Earl Warren but exposes flaws in its decisions that opened a door to future modifications by conservatives. There are surprising portraits of Woodrow Wilson as a self-styled interpreter of God's will; FDR's vice president, Henry Wallace, as a friend of workers, an internationalist and an austere moralist; poet/essayist Archibald MacLeish as an apostle of liberal democracy, ethnic pluralism and art in the service of activism. These essays are especially interesting for the historical context and political past in the light of which they view America's current social problems. (Oct.)
Library Journal
One of America's most readable historians, Blum ( Years of Discord: American Politics and Society, 1961-1974 , LJ 8/1/91) profiles ten political leaders representing the first seven decades of the 20th century: Theodore Roosevelt, Herbert Croly, Mark Hanna, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt, Henry Wallace, Archibald MacLeish, Walter Lippman, and Earl Warren. The carefully chosen essays reflect both the times and the personalities of these public figures. Though none of these 13 essays is new, many readers may have missed them, for they appeared in a variety of sources. They will appeal most to readers who are fascinated with political history. For political science collections.-- William D. Pederson, Louisiana State Univ., Shreveport
Gilbert Taylor
Yale's influential historian--whose text "The National Experience" is widely used in high schools--offers 13 essays written since the 1950s. Keyed to the leaders brought forth by the Progressive Era, each is a self-contained estimate of the political intellects of three Roosevelts, Woodrow Wilson, and Henry Wallace; of the journalistic minds of "New Republic" founders Herbert Croly and Walter Lippmann; and of the prosody of Archibald MacLeish. A simple list, though, belies the experienced erudition and facile prose that Blum always brings to his work. A believer in activist government, he sees his subjects as antecedents of liberalism--the "ism" that regulates the powerful and redistributes income to the weak. But labels don't always stick, as shown by Blum's insightful views on Walter Lippmann, who argued his way through events from the stance of a Fabian socialist to one of an anti-New Dealer to one of a quasiconservative. Blum brings out these moltings and--more relevant to the present--describes the racial tensions during World War II, citing a passage on the Warren court from his own "Years of Discord". He reminds those who are reflexively liberal that high court decisions often came down from faulty reasoning, such as Justice William O. Douglas' "penumbras" and "emanations" that resulted in privacy rights. The Progressives are still with us, and "Liberty, Justice, Order" should engage readers who, like Blum, admire them.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393035483
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/28/1993
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.83 (w) x 8.54 (h) x 1.17 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword
Introduction 3
1 The Burden of American Equality 23
2 Virtuous Texts 44
3 Theodore Roosevelt: Power and Order 61
4 Heroic Values: Herbert Croly and Mark Hanna 89
5 Woodrow Wilson: A Study in Intellect 100
6 The Foreign and the Radical : The Red Scare of 1919-20 111
7 "That Kind of a Liberal": Franklin D. Roosevelt 125
8 First Lady: Eleanor Roosevelt 136
9 The Price of Vision: Henry A. Wallace 143
10 Unity and Stability During World War II 207
11 Archibald MacLeish: Art for Action 227
12 Walter Lippmann and the Problem of Order 261
13 The Politics of the Warren Court 323
Index 363
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