From the Inside Flap
In SIDNEY HOOK RECONSIDERED, Matthew J. Cotter edits a collection of essays originally presented at a centennial celebration honoring Hook's life and career. Articles by both former students, colleagues, allies, and adversaries, as well as younger scholars, who offer fresh insights into Hook's philosophical significance, are included. David Sidorsky contributes a detailed introduction to the development of Hook's work and thought; the remaining essays are divided into three parts. The first deals with Hook's role in the American philosophical tradition, with essays by Barbara Forrest, Robert B. Talisse, Michael Eldridge, Paul Kurtz, and Marvin Kohl. topics discussed include Hook's thoughts on philosophical pragmatism, secularism, the use of violence, and dogmatic politics versus public inquiry. The second part addresses Hook's place in the intellectual tradition of the United States, with essays by Steven M. Cahn, Christopher Phelps, Edward Shapiro, Gary Bullert, and Neil Jumonville. Hook's early affiliation with Marxism; his connection to his mentor, John Dewey; and his thoughts on education and open discussion are among the issues presented. The final part consists of reminiscences by three men who knew Hook personally: Nathan Glazer, Tibor R. Machan, and Bruce Wilshire.
With a full bibliography of Hook's works and reviews of them, plus an afterword by Richard Rorty, this outstanding collection of essays presents an excellent reassessment of one of the United States' most misunderstood public philosophers and will make provocative reading for anyone interested in the intellectual history of the cold war and the complex sociopolitics of the twentieth century.