Magazine December 31, 2009, Issue

Herbert Croly’s American Bismarcks

President Theodore Roosevelt, c. 1907 (Library of Congress)

Herbert Croly’s 1909 book The Promise of American Life, the ur-text of pre–World War I progressivism, was still essential reading for 1960s college students. In 1965 alone, the book was reprinted by three major publishers, each featuring a new introduction by a prominent liberal historian (in one case, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.). Students were, at the best schools, taught in the days of the Great Society to see The Promise not only as the founding document of modern American liberalism — and a prophecy of the New Deal — but also as a charter empowering them to become the country’s

To Read the Full Story
Fred SiegelMr. Siegel is a contributing editor to the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal and a scholar in residence at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, N.Y.

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


The Week

The Week

The Copenhagen climate summit devolved into an international farce, an episode of Carbon-Police Squad! as ridiculous as anything directed by David Zucker.


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