Magazine December 31, 2009, Issue

John Dewey and the Philosophical Refounding of America

John Dewey (Underwood & Underwood/Library of Congress)

The “progressive” label is back in vogue; politicians of the Left routinely use it to describe themselves, hoping to avoid the radical connotations associated with being “liberal” in the post-Reagan era. The irony in this is manifold, especially because the aim of the movement to which the name refers, the late-19th- and early-20th-century progressive movement, was anything but moderate.

If the progressive label seems less radical today, it is only because progressivism is less well known than its liberal progeny. It was initially an academic phenomenon far removed from American politics. Particularly in the post–Civil War American university, professors — many

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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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