Uncertain Victory: Social Democracy and Progressivism in European and American Thought, 1870-1920

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9780195037494: Uncertain Victory: Social Democracy and Progressivism in European and American Thought, 1870-1920

Between 1870 and 1920, two generations of European and American intellectuals created a transatlantic community of philosophical and political discourse. Uncertain Victory, the first comparative study of ideas and politics in France, Germany, the U.S., and Great Britain during these fifty years, demonstrates how a number of thinkers from different traditions converged to create the theoretical foundations for new programs of social democracy and progressivism. Kloppenberg studies a wide range of pivotal theorists and activists--including philosophers such as William James, Wilhelm Dilthey, and T. H. Green, democratic socialists such as Jean Jaures, Walter Rauschenbusch, Eduard Bernstein, and Beatrice and Sidney Webb, and social theorists such as John Dewey and Max Weber--as he establishes the connection between the philosophers' challenges to the traditions of empiricism and idealism and the activists' challenges to the traditions of laissez-faire liberalism and revolutionary socialism. By demonstrating the link between a philosophy of self-conscious uncertainty and a politics of continuing democratic experimentation, and by highlighting previously unrecognized similarities among a number of prominent 19th- and 20th-century thinkers, Uncertain Victory is sure to spur a reassessment of the relationship between ideas and politics on both sides of the Atlantic.

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About the Author:


James T. Kloppenberg is Charles Warren Professor of American History at Harvard University.

Review:


"An excellent analysis of intellectual progressivism."--Frank Annunziata, Rochester Institute of Technology


"A tour de force and a work of compendious learning...Excellent."--History: Reviews of New Books


"A refreshingly rigorous, discerning analysis of a formidable and demanding topic in the history of ideas."--Organization of American Historians


"The breadth of Kloppenberg's reading, the erudition spread through these pages is staggering...An impressive piece of scholarship."--Intellectual History Newsletter


"Finely researched...An interesting and important contribution to the history of political philosophy."--The Journal of American History


"A challenging inquiry into the history and influence of ideas and into the thought of two generations of prominent Europeans and Americans who transformed the ideas of both revolutionary socialism and laissez-faire liberalism."--The Historian


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Kloppenberg, James T.
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