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From the Publisher"Displays the importance of the human sciences for showing the culturally oriented roots that run deep in American society. . . . Rich scholarship. . . . Offers a resource for understanding or even healing some of our deepest polarizations."
— Journal of the History of Behavioral Sciences
Persuasively documents a shift in American social science from political economy's sovereign individual, his will grounded in reason and labor, to social psychology's socialized self, a product of instinct, habit, and desire. Along the way, Sklansky gives us illuminating rereadings of many major figures in a century of social thought. (Dorothy Ross, author of The Origins of American Social Science)
Did twentieth-century notions of 'social selfhood' represent an unambiguous improvement upon the 'outdated ideals' of the nineteenth century? In this exemplary study, Sklansky provides us a fresh perspective on this familiar theme. His book is a valuable act of historical recovery which will also greatly enrich our present-day debates about self and society. (Wilfred M. McClay, author of The Masterless: Self and Society in Modern America)