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Social Science in the Crucible: The American Debate over Objectivity and Purpose, 1918–1941 Paperback – October 15, 1994

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"As a collective intellectual biography of some of the foremost social science thinkers of the early to mid-century, this book provides perhaps the clearest picture yet of the dilemmas facing the scholar-as-democratic reformer. Smith manages a judicious blend of the personal biography and individual career path with a penetrating account of the subject's main writings and intellectual contributions. His book should be read by a large, interdisciplinary audience."—Leon Fink, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill


"This is a superb piece of work. There is nothing quite like this book in the available literature and it will nicely supplement the best of previously published accounts of the history of social science in the United States. It is also an important intervention in the current debate about the decline of the public intellectual."—Robert Westbrook, University of Rochester

About the Author

Mark C. Smith is Assistant Professor of American Studies and History at the University of Texas, Austin.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books (October 15, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822314975
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822314974
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 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: #2,424,712 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Randolph Lewis on July 27, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this highly useful book, Dr. Smith, a professor of American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, provides a powerful historical lens onto questions fundamental to social science. Looking at fascinating, representative thinkers--Wesley Mitchell, Charles Merriam, Robert Lynd, Charles Beard, and Harold D. Lasswell---Smith asks "Knowledge for What?", i.e., should social science be the quest for understanding the world "objectively" or "scientifically" or remaking the world through a passionate commitment to social justice and research as advocacy. Well worth the time of scholars and students in US history, American Studies, and various social sciences.
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Social Science in the Crucible: The American Debate over Objectivity and Purpose, 1918–1941
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