THE DIGNITY OF MAN by Russell W. Davenport


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The thesis advanced by Russell Davenport is essentially this:- the central conflict of our time is neither economic nor political- but philosophic, deriving from the rise of dialectical materialism with the failure of all those values and ideals upon which the life of Western man rests. With the assumption that material forces alone are responsible for the social, moral and scientific state of man, Marxism makes an almost irresistible appeal where there is no informing belief in the spirit of inquiry, the prospect of spiritual growth, or the concept of freedom. Davenport analyzes the traditions, industrial forces, intellectual aspirations, economic hardships and innumerable other sources of today's philosophic plight. He examines closely the New Testament, and the thinking of Aristotle, Goethe, Beatham, Jefferson, Paine, Jung, and Dewey among others. This is a posthumous volume skillfully worked out of the passionate last statements with which Davenport, former editor of Fortune, driving spirit of the Willkie campaign, author of the poem My Country, sought to sum up a life of reflection and quandary. The ""looseness"" of the style may add some resonance to the author's convictions, but the effect in the long run is rhetorical. Support and sales may be expected among readers of current affairs on the Luce level.

Pub Date: April 11th, 1955
Publisher: Harper