Progressive Intellectuals And The Dilemmas Of Democratic Commitment / Edition 1

Progressive Intellectuals And The Dilemmas Of Democratic Commitment / Edition 1

by Leon Fink
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674713907

ISBN-13: 9780674713901

Pub. Date: 11/15/1999

Publisher: Harvard University Press

How to lead the people and be one of them? What's a democratic intellectual to do? This longstanding dilemma for the progressive intellectual, how to bridge the world of educated opinion and that of the working masses, is the focus of Leon Fink's penetrating book, the first social history of the progressive thinker caught in the middle of American political culture

Overview

How to lead the people and be one of them? What's a democratic intellectual to do? This longstanding dilemma for the progressive intellectual, how to bridge the world of educated opinion and that of the working masses, is the focus of Leon Fink's penetrating book, the first social history of the progressive thinker caught in the middle of American political culture.

In a series of vivid portraits, Fink investigates the means and methods of intellectual activists in the first part of the twentieth century--how they served, observed, and made their own history. In the stories of, among others, John R. Commons, Charles McCarthy, William English Walling, Anna Strunsky Walling, A. Philip Randolph, W. Jett Lauck, and Wil Lou Gray, he creates a panorama of reform of unusual power. Issues as broad as the cult of leadership and as specific as the Wisconsin school of labor history lead us into the heart of the dilemma of the progressive intellectual in our age.

The problem, as Fink describes it, is twofold: Could people prevail in a land of burgeoning capitalism and concentrated power? And should the people prevail? This book shows us Socialists and Progressives and, later, New Dealers grappling with these questions as they tried to redress the new inequities of their day--and as they confronted the immense frustrations of moving the masses. Fink's graphic depiction of intellectuals' labors in the face of capitalist democracy's challenges dramatizes a time in our past--and at the same time speaks eloquently to our own.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674713901
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
11/15/1999
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
386
Product dimensions:
0.80(w) x 6.00(h) x 9.00(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

Progressive Reformers, Social Scientists, and the Search for a Democratic Public

Defining the People: The Wisconsin School of Labor History and the Creation of the American Worker

The People's Expert: Charles McCarthy and the Perils of Public Service

Joining the People: William English Walling and the Specter of the Intellectual Class

A Love for the People: Anna Strunsky Walling and the Domestic Limits of Democratic Idealism

A Voice for the People: A. Philip Randolph and the Cult of Leadership

The People's Strategist: W. Jett Lauck and the Panacea of Plenty

Teaching the People: Wil Lou Gray and the Siren of Educational Opportunity

Epilogue: The Once and Future Career of the Public Intellectual

Notes

Index

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