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Shaping Modern Liberalism: Herbert Croly and Progressive Thought Hardcover – April 2, 1993

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"At a time when liberalism seems questioned on every side, this lively book on Croly, who as much as anyone developed the progressive creed of Wilsonianism and the New Deal, is particularly welcome. It brings out the reasoning behind many premises and plans of twentieth-century progressives-and also the difficulties and doubts that came to cloud Croly's own hopes."--Robert K. Faulkner, author of The Jurisprudence of John Marshall

"By far the best study of Herbert Croly as a political and social philosopher. Stettner illuminates the origins, evolution, and expression of Croly's thought, with insightful reference to Croly's personal life and involvement in larger affairs. Inasmuch as Stettner succeeds in establishing Croly's overweening significance as a liberal thinker, he has written a book with exciting contemporary resonance at a time when America and the world are struggling to define the focus of humane politics in the post-Cold War, post-socialist era."--John Milton Cooper, Jr., author of Pivotal Decades: The United States, 1900-1920

About the Author

Edward A. Stettner is professor of political science at Wellesley College. He is the editor of Perspectives on Europe.

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Product Details

  • Series: Modern War Studies
  • Hardcover: 252 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas; First Edition edition (April 2, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0700605800
  • ISBN-13: 978-0700605804
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,025,176 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Terrence McGarty on August 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Shaping Modern Liberalism by Stettner is an exceptionally good biographical work addressing Herbert Croly. Croly is in many ways the father of modern day Progressivism. The book covers the extent of Croly's life and develops his works quite well. An excellent addition to this work is Positivist Republic: Auguste Comte and the Reconstruction of American Liberalism, by Harp.Positivist Republic: Auguste Comte and the Reconstruction of American Liberalism, 1865-1920

The author sets the tune well on p. 3 by stating:

"Progressives such as Croly sought primarily to use government - particularly the national government an even more particularly the national executive - to control the power of business. They sought to assert the public interest against the trusts and to regulate and destroy the concentration of economic power."

It should be understood that during the late 19th century that there were massive trusts, albeit representing but a small fraction of all businesses. They may be counted in less than hundreds and even less than dozens for the most significant one. Yet for those like Croly, and Teddy Roosevelt was part of this group, they became the focus of all that was wrong in America.

Croly founded the magazine The New Republic, TNR, which has managed to survive to the present. The author on p 5 indicates the disillusionment that Croly and his associates, including Walter Lippmann, Felix Frankfurter, Learned Hand and John Dewey were to have with Wilson and Wilson's repressive response to the War.
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Shaping Modern Liberalism: Herbert Croly and Progressive Thought
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