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Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: A few light pencil marks in margins. Solid binding, dust jacket with very light wear.
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Why Niebuhr Now? Hardcover – June 30, 2011

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews


“It is a genuine blessing that John Patrick Diggins left us this brilliant reflection on Reinhold Niebuhr. In crisp and eloquent prose, his book explains as well as anything I have seen why we are experiencing a revival of our appreciation for Niebuhr—and, more importantly, why this is a very good thing. Diggins, like Niebuhr, always defied philosophical pigeonholing and, also like Niebuhr, never sought to evade the most difficult moral questions. If one may say so, this match of subject and author was made in heaven.”

(E. J. Dionne, author of Why Americans Hate Politics)

“Like many an American thinker skilled at enduring maxims, Niebuhr faced and still faces the problem of being reduced to an aphorist for that quintessential American product: the higher form of greeting card. In his final work, Diggins does the best any scholar possibly could to rescue Niebuhr from that fate.”

(Carlin Romano Chronicle of Higher Education)

"Intriguing. . . . Diggins gets Niebuhr right because, like his subject, Diggins was never a person comfortable with the certainties of either anti-war leftism or triumphant neo-conservatism."
(Alan Wolfe New Republic)

Why Niebuhr Now? offers a series of wide-ranging and spirited meditations on Niebuhr’s intellectual contributions that will inspire those inclined to view Niebuhr’s thought in broad strokes.”
(Modern Intellectual History)

About the Author

John Patrick Diggins (1935–2009) was distinguished professor at the City University of New York and the author of many books, including Eugene O’Neill’s America and The Promise of Pragmatism, both published by the University of Chicago Press.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 152 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press (June 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226148831
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226148830
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,689,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having read Professor Diggins' masterful study of pragmatism, The Promise of Pragmatism: Modernism and the Crisis of Knowledge and Authority
I was delighted when I discovered the publication of Why Niebuhr Now ? Why Niebuhr Now?

I was unfamiliar with Niebuhr when I read in Professor Kloppenberg's excellent book Reading Obama Reading Obama: Dreams, Hope, and the American Political Tradition [New in Paper]
that: "The columnist David Brooks in particular has written extensively about Obama's sustained engagement with the writings of Niebuhr, and Obama himself has often cited Niebuhr as an important influence on his thought." p. 120 Kloppenberg also describes Obama as a philosophical pragmatist. Intrigued by the apparent contradiction between Obama's Christianity and philosophical pragmatism, and interested in President Obama's intellectual worldview, I decided that I would investigate the life and thought of Reinhold Niebuhr.

Diggins (April 1, 1935 - January 28, 2009) was a first-rate historian. Thus, this is a brief history of Niebuhr. The author skillfully situates Niebuhr (June 21st, 1892 - June 1st, 1971) in relation to many significant people, ideas, and events of his time, often in fascinating but brief detail. For me, the work was an informative and enjoyable read.

Finally, when I began my investigation of Niebuhr, I came upon The Pragmatic God - On the Nihilism of Reinhold Niebuhr, by Professor Harry J.
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