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Download The Promise of American Life epub

by Herbert David Croly

We have had many opportunities of hearing public speakers in America cast doubts upon the very existence of God and of Providence question the historic nature or veracity of the whole fabric of Christianity; but never has it been our fortune to catch the slightest whisper of doubt the slightest want of faith in the chief God of America unlimited belief in the future of America.
Download The Promise of American Life epub
ISBN: 1438595786
ISBN13: 978-1438595788
Category: Literature
Subcategory: Contemporary
Author: Herbert David Croly
Language: English
Publisher: Book Jungle (April 22, 2010)
Pages: 432 pages
ePUB size: 1894 kb
FB2 size: 1241 kb
Rating: 4.5
Votes: 853
Other Formats: azw mbr docx lrf

This is a very important book for understanding the "Progressive Era" in American History. It was read by both Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson and influenced their thinking and policies.
Arrived in good condition!
A nice concise summary of political party evolution through the beginning of the 20th century with a sound rationale for progressive politics and limitations on the growth of trusts (corporate interests). Demonstrates how mainstream and inept current "Progressive" dialog sounds. It's also interesting to see how the mantle of conservative individual freedoms passes back and forth between political parties.
This book was written 100 years ago. It a political American history. The same themes are still with us today.
My review concerns the quality of the "Qontro Classic Books" paperback edition, not the content of Croly's book. Croly originally published the work in 1909 and it apparently has passed into the public domain. This Qontro edition is an oversize paperback, but is very hard to read because it is set in a small and hard to read typefont - I think it's just Courier. I would guess the publisher scanned a library copy into Word and hit the Print button. The table of contents doesn't give page numbers for the beginning of chapters. There is no forward or other comments by recent scholars, just the bare text of Croly's book.
The stars are not for agreement. In fact, H. D. Croly argues from the opposite pole of the Great American Debate as myself. The stars are because he does such a good job of it (other than the long-winded first chapter). Five stars for a deep and revealing understanding of American history, the American character, and individual American politicians - especially Lincoln. Minus a star for occasional windiness. Croly also got my attention by framing the debate exactly as I do, and then framing the entirety of American political history, like I do, in terms of the debate.

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). "Western Democracy" added an aggressively militaristic attitude to Jeffersonianism, a contradiction that infects both modern neo-conservatism and modern liberalism alike.

This book was great inspiration to Theodore Roosevelt, the imperialist progressive who opened the gates to big government and Pax Americana. Croly's name may be forgotten but his ideas, with the help of T. R. and others from that pivotal generation, are the underpinning for our modern world. Has America's Promise been fulfilled? Some would argue yes, I would say it's barely holding on as Croly's descendents drown us in debt and militarism.
Lonesome Orange Kid
Pleased w/ purchase
The book is in pristine condition. Can't wait to read it.