The Age of Reform

The Age of Reform

Language: English

Pages: 352

ISBN: 0394700953

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


This book is a landmark in American political thought. It examines the passion for progress and reform that colored the entire period from 1890 to 1940 -- with startling and stimulating results. it searches out the moral and emotional motives of the reformers the myths and dreams in which they believed, and the realities with which they had to compromise.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

soon as they saw some capitalists express an interest in the Philippines as an imperial outpost. When all this has been said, it must be added that alongside this nationalist belligerence and crusading credulity of the native American, there was a genuine streak of Christian pacifism, too inconsistently held to be an overruling force and yet far from a negligible influence in the conduct of national affairs. It was this pacifism that Bryan at times appealed to and that Wilson in good part relied

travelers and Communists, we stand in serious danger of misunderstanding the character of the New Deal if we overemphasize the influence of this fringe either upon the New Deal core or upon the American people at large. It has now become both fashionable and, for some, convenient to exaggerate the impact of the extreme left upon the thinking of the country in the 1930’s. No doubt it will always be possible to do so, for Marxism had a strong if ephemeral impact upon many intellectuals; but the

travelers and Communists, we stand in serious danger of misunderstanding the character of the New Deal if we overemphasize the influence of this fringe either upon the New Deal core or upon the American people at large. It has now become both fashionable and, for some, convenient to exaggerate the impact of the extreme left upon the thinking of the country in the 1930’s. No doubt it will always be possible to do so, for Marxism had a strong if ephemeral impact upon many intellectuals; but the

CXXXIII (February 7, 1923), p. 265. 7 The Public Papers of Woodrow Wilson (New York, 1925-7), Vol. V, p. 22. 8 Ibid., p. 33. 9 Ibid., Vol. VI, p. 52. It is worth noting, by way of contrast, that F. D. R. suggested that the second World War be designated simply the War for Survival. 1 Cf. Boorstin, op. cit., passim. 2 Note La Follette’s objection to Wilson’s argument that it was impossible for democratic America to remain friendly with Prussian autocracy: “But the President proposes alliance

laws, Populist writers were again drawing on the Jacksonian tradition, whose spokesmen also had pleaded for a proper obedience to “natural” laws as a prerequisite of social justice.5 Somewhat akin to the notion of the beneficence of nature was the idea of a natural harmony of interests among the productive classes. To the Populist mind there was no fundamental conflict between the farmer and the worker, between the toiling people and the small businessman. While there might be corrupt

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