The Promise of American Life (Herbert David Croly) pdf, epub, doc

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Herbert Croly was a journalist and writer who wrote his most significant work just after the beginning of the twentieth century. He makes the case most simply: there have been two contending forces within liberalism fighting for the soul of the country from the very beginning. That is, there have been two distinct liberalisms. One was the Hamiltonian emphasis on the nation as a whole, as something transcendent over narrow interests. He called for a national purpose or interest to structure political dialogue. On the down side, the individual American might be forgotten in the process. The Jeffersonian view, on the other hand, valorized the individual and deemphasized a larger national purpose. Croly argued that both had serious flaws, but that the time was right to try to meld the two together for the good of the republic.

His contention was that we had to wed the national purpose orientation of Hamilton with the focus on ordinary people from Jefferson. His appeal was for "positive government," the use by government of various tools to advance the national interest and the welfare of the people. This was an early salvo on behalf of the Progressive movement. With the Great Depression and Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal, this orientation became the dominant thrust of American politics for five decades.

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Book info

  • Author:
  • Publisher:Northeastern University Press
  • File: 5.9 Mb
  • Ganre: Non Fiction
  • Release: 02.09.1989
  • ISBN: 9781555530624
  • Pages 468
  • Rating: 4.25 (40 votes)


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