Shaping Modern Liberalism: Herbert Croly and Progressive Thought

Overview

In this first full-length study of Herbert Croly's political theory, Edward Stettner analyzes Croly's writings and examines the events, experiences, and people that influenced his thinking. Croly, founder of The New Republic, expounded on issues from the nationalization of railroads to the Espionage Act in his search for a middle way between socialism and capitalism. Stettner illustrates how Croly's political theory influenced the editorial position of one of the leading liberal journals and how his thought in ...
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Overview

In this first full-length study of Herbert Croly's political theory, Edward Stettner analyzes Croly's writings and examines the events, experiences, and people that influenced his thinking. Croly, founder of The New Republic, expounded on issues from the nationalization of railroads to the Espionage Act in his search for a middle way between socialism and capitalism. Stettner illustrates how Croly's political theory influenced the editorial position of one of the leading liberal journals and how his thought in turn was modified in reaction to national and world events during the progressive era. Stettner emphasizes how Croly was drawn to the conclusion that a strong national government and individual rights could indeed coexist -- if not always serenely -- in a democratic society, consequently helping to establish the framework for modern liberalism.
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What People Are Saying

John Milton Cooper, Jr.
By far the best study of Herbert Croly as a political and social philosopher. Stettner illuminates the origins, evolution, and expression of Croly's thought, with insightful reference to Croly's personal life and involvement in larger affairs. Inasmuch as Stettner succeeds in establishing Croly's overweening significance as a liberal thinker, he has written a book with exciting contemporary resonance at a time when America and the world are struggling to define the focus of humane politics in the post-Cold War, post-socialist era.
—author of Pivotal Decades: The United States, 1900-1920
Robert K. Faulkner
At a time when liberalism seems questioned on every side, this lively book on Croly, who as much as anyone developed the progressive creed of Wilsonianism and the New Deal, is particularly welcome. It brings out the reasoning behind many premises and plans of twentieth-century progressives-and also the difficulties and doubts that came to cloud Croly's own hopes.
—author of The Jurisprudence of John Marshall
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780700605804
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas
  • Publication date: 4/28/1993
  • Series: American Political Thought Series
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
1 Introduction 1
2 Years of Preparation 8
3 Political Theory and "The Promise of American Life" 33
4 "The Promise" and Reform Politics 57
5 Progressivism and "Progressive Democracy" 77
6 Domestic Liberalism in a "New Republic" 106
7 Liberalism and War 122
8 Liberalism in an "Age of Normalcy" 144
9 Conclusions 162
Notes 173
Selected Bibliography 211
Index 221
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