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Cornell University Press
John Dewey and American Democracy / Edition 1

John Dewey and American Democracy / Edition 1

by Robert B. WestbrookRobert B. Westbrook
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Over a career spanning American history from the 1880s to the 1950s, John Dewey sought not only to forge a persuasive argument for his conviction that "democracy is freedom" but also to realize his democratic ideals through political activism. Widely considered modern America's most important philosopher, Dewey made his views known both through his writings and through such controversial episodes as his leadership of educational reform at the turn of the century; his support of American intervention in World War I and his leading role in the Outlawry of War movement after the war; and his participation in both radical and anti-communist politics in the 1930s and 40s. Robert B. Westbrook reconstructs the evolution of Dewey's thought and practice in this masterful intellectual biography, combining readings of his major works with an engaging account of key chapters in his activism. Westbrook pays particular attention to the impact upon Dewey of conversations and debates with contemporaries from William James and Reinhold Niebuhr to Jane Addams and Leon Trotsky. Countering prevailing interpretations of Dewey's contribution to the ideology of American liberalism, he discovers a more unorthodox Dewey—a deviant within the liberal community who was steadily radicalized by his profound faith in participatory democracy. Anyone concerned with the nature of democracy and the future of liberalism in America—including educators, moral and social philosophers, social scientists, political theorists, and intellectual and cultural historians—will find John Dewey and American Democracy indispensable reading.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801481116
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication date: 01/05/1993
Edition description: REPRINT
Pages: 592
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Robert B. Westbrook is Professor of History at the University of Rochester. He is the author of John Dewey and American Democracy, also from Cornell, winner of the Merle Curti Award. He is also the author of Why We Fought: Forging American Obligations in World War II and the coeditor of In Face of the Facts: Moral Inquiry in American Scholarship.

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Making of a Philosopher

Part One. A Social Gospel (1882–1904)
1. The Hegelian Bacillus
2. Organic Democracy
3. Chicago Pragmatism
4. No Mean City

Part Two. Progressive Democracy (1904–1918)
5. Reconstructing Philosophy
6. Democracy and Education
7. The Politics of War

Part Three. Toward the Great Community (1918–1929)
8. The Politics of Peace 23
9. The Phantom Public
10. Philosophy and Democracy

Part Four. Democrat Emeritus (1929–1952)
11. Consummatory Experience
12. Socialist Democracy
13. Their Morals and Ours
14. Keeping the Common Faith

Epilogue: The Wilderness and the Promised Land

Bibliographical Note

What People are Saying About This

Richard W. Fox

"Robert Westbrook has written a magisterial book about America's foremost philosopher of the twentieth century, perhaps of any century. Deeply researched and carefully crafted, it is intellectual history at its most scintillating. It will be the standard for measuring not only future work on Dewey but future work in intellectual biography in general."

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