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John Dewey and American Democracy (Cornell Paperbacks) Paperback – January 5, 1993


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John Dewey and American Democracy (Cornell Paperbacks) + Open the Social Sciences: Report of the Gulbenkian Commission on the Restructuring of the Social Sciences (Mestizo Spaces / Espaces Metisses) + Cartesian Linguistics: A Chapter in the History of Rationalist Thought
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Product Details

  • Series: Cornell Paperbacks
  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press (January 5, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801481112
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801481116
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #633,433 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Highly regarded but largely unread today, Dewey is generally considered a pragmatist in the mainstream of American liberalism. This exciting portrait of the philosopher as an advocate of participatory democracy and a political activist presents him as a more radical voice than is generally assumed. Although the anti-Stalinist thinker cared little for Marx and was quick to see the repressive nature of Soviet collectivism, he considered himself a democratic socialist in the 1920s and '30s, and questioned corporate capitalism's capacity to promote democratic values. Dewey often is blamed for "aimless" progressive education, but Westbrook, a historian at the University of Rochester, argues that his actual impact on U.S. schools was limited, and examines Dewey's vision of the school as a laboratory fostering social, cooperative impulses instead of competitive, selfish individualism. This study, intellectual biography of the highest order, reevaluates Dewey's thought as a signpost for the revitalization of democracy. Photos.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Westbrook places the development of Dewey's political and social theory in the context of his metaphysical views as historically developed. For Dewey, the social good is joined to individual development. Thus, democracy is an ethical ideal rather than a mere practical accommodation. To deny the human capacity to judge and act intelligently, given appropriate enabling conditions, while swearing allegiance to democracy, Westbrook notes, was for Dewey a form of treachery. Westbrook claims that contemporary liberal-democratic ideology is treacherous in these terms. So, contrary to the prevailing view, he sees Dewey's as a radical voice, out of the mainstream, for liberalism and democracy. With the so-called "linguistic turn" in philosophy fading and philosophy building bridges to other disciplines and doors among the rooms in its own house, Dewey is recently being "rediscovered." This treatment is thorough and instructive. It thus belongs in any library that would consider it.
- Bruce Um baugh, Univ. of Maryland, College Park
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Filipe Carreira da Silva on November 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
Robert Westbrook's intellectual biography is one of the very best studies on Dewey's life and work. In my view, it's more balanced and carefully researched than Alan Ryan's "John Dewey and the High Tide of American Liberalism", the most obvious competing book. What Westbrook achieves is a happy combination of historical research and insightful theoretical analysis. And that's what any intellectual biography is all about, right? In a nutshell: this book is definitely worth buying if you are interested in expanding your knowledge on Dewey.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By K. Khoo on July 29, 2007
Format: Paperback
I don't think there is a better introduction to John Dewey available. This great book traces the intellectual development of every major aspect of Dewey's thought in thoughtful detail - his metaphysics, his psychology, his thought on education and democracy, his aesthetic theory. It gives a reader a full overview of Dewey's thought in their historical and intellectual context and leaves him with a sense of the greatness (and present relevance) of Dewey as a thinker. Ive gone on to read several of Dewey's works since because of the interest stirred by this book. I would get a copy soon before it goes out of print
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