Carlyle, Wagner, Nietzsche, Spengler, Stefan George, D.H. Lawrence- to rattle off Bentley's roster- attempted to idealize man. This tradition of hero-worship carries with it belief in an aristocracy among men; a measure of contempt for the ""common man""; and a tendency to depreciate the present limited state of man in behalf of his potential advancement. For these reasons, if not others, the tradition has appealed to the totalitarian mind and has challenged the basic human tenets of democracy. Hence, this is a political work. The biographic content, the painstaking exposition of views held by the six hero-worshipers, the flashes of literary criticism and philosophic reflection- everything in the book, directly or indirectly, concerns politics.... This is a reprint, only slightly eviscerated, and Bentley's Century remains hale and hearty.