A Professor of Government at Harvard here presents a new concept of a liberal society rooted in some of the very aspects of...

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THE LIBERAL TRADITION IN AMERICA

A Professor of Government at Harvard here presents a new concept of a liberal society rooted in some of the very aspects of the Old World from which its colonials escaped. He sees American political thought in the light of Western history, not of American history as an isolated entity. An inventive freedom was possible here because of our unique lack of a feudal tradition or a socialist tradition- but in our very unanimity lay dangers. He explores the basic assumptions of American political thought. America was born free, and lived in closest approximation to the Lockean state of nature, without having to experience the social upheaval of European liberalism. Democracy emerged almost unchallenged; the crime of the American Whig was no villainy but stupidity, while the character of the American Democrat was compounded of ancient feudalism and incipient liberalism. He studies the failure in our soil of socialism as understood by the Western world, the nature of Progressivism- even the excesses of our own century. Definitely a book designed for those with wide reading and study background of various philosophic writers of the 19th century, and a more profound awareness of the backgrounds of historical development that he takes for granted than the average reader possesses. Market- a scholarly one, college libraries, etc.

Pub Date: Jan. 20, 1954

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Harcourt, Brace

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1954