PURITANISM AND DEMOCRACY by Ralph Barton Perry

PURITANISM AND DEMOCRACY

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

An important contribution to the critical literature of American thought, by the Publisher Prise winning author of The Thought and Character of William James. takes as his theme the theory that Puritanism and Democracy are two of the main in the make-up of the intellectual fabric of America; he contends that the democratic ideal was implicit in Puritanism from the beginning; that the two still powerfully interest and if the best were distilled from them, they can be strong formative factors in America of the future. The main part of the book is a scholarly tracing of the historical backgrounds of Puritanism and Democracy. The part treating of Puritanism is brilliant, specific and most illuminating in relation to current trends in public life; the tracing of the Democratic idea is neither so sure-footed nor so clear. The book is deep, scholarly-and not easy reading. Its historical portions seem to us to be more important than the conclusions drawn from them. Perry is a philosophical ""realist"" of the Henry James' school, a hard-headed liberal, unsympathetic both to hidebound conservatism to tolerance ""open at both ends"". A book for students of American history and social philosophers.

Pub Date: Jan. 8th, 1945
Publisher: Vanguard