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The Promise of American Life Paperback – July 12, 2010
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For example, from the get-go, Croly establishes the opposing visions of Hamilton and Jefferson as the fundamental philosophical split in America and traces the dispute up to the present. Of course, his present is a perfect century earlier than our own, but even now the game is still the same even as party names and ideological labels have changed with some regularity. Now we might name the split progressivism vs. libertarianism.
I also give Croly fairly high marks for maintaining a generosity of spirit and understanding for the "other side." Such generosity is unusual in the best of times, so even "fairly high" is fairly rare. His generosity doesn't quite extend to the principal figure representing the other side, though. His skillful demolition of Jefferson's personal qualities is merely skillful, not generous. In the case of Jefferson, anyway, Croly can't help seeing philosophical differences expressed through personality deficiencies.
Croly's excellent explication of the frontier culture of the "Western Democracy" would be worth the price of the book, if it had a price (free on Kindle, as of this writing).Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was written 100 years ago. It a political American history. The same themes are still with us today.Published 12 months ago by R. Lieblich
This Filiquarian edition is in a good quality binding and paper but it is not a facsimile so pagination is off. Read morePublished on September 26, 2011 by cmoore
My review concerns the quality of the "Qontro Classic Books" paperback edition, not the content of Croly's book. Read morePublished on November 30, 2010 by Dennis Nicholls