John Dewey and the High Tide of American Liberalism

John Dewey and the High Tide of American Liberalism

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When John Dewey died in 1952, he was memorialized as America's most famous philosopher, revered by liberal educators and deplored by conservatives, but universally acknowledged as his country's intellectual voice. Many things conspired to give Dewey an extraordinary intellectual eminence: He was immensely long-lived and immensely prolific; he died in his ninety-third year, and his intellectual productivity hardly slackened until his eighties. Professor Alan Ryan offers new insights into Dewey's many achievements, his character, and the era in which his scholarship had a remarkable impact. He investigates the question of what an American audience wanted from a public philosopher - from an intellectual figure whose credentials came from his academic standing as a philosopher, but whose audience was much wider than an academic one. Ran argues that Dewey's "religious" outlook illuminates his politics much more vividly than it does the politics of religion as ordinarily conceived. He examines how Dewey fit into the American radical tradition, how he was and was not like his transatlantic contemporaries, why he could for so long practice a form of philosophical inquiry that became unfashionable in England after 1914 at the latest.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 416 pages
  • 152.4 x 218.44 x 33.02mm | 657.71g
  • WW Norton & Co
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0393315509
  • 9780393315509
  • 1,144,819

Back cover copy

When John Dewey died in 1952, he was memorialized as America's most famous philosopher, revered by liberal educators and deplored by conservatives but universally acknowledged as his country's intellectual voice. 'So faithfully did Dewey live up to his own philosophical creed that he became the guide, the mentor, and the conscience of the American people; it is scarcely an exaggeration to say that for a generation no issue was clarified until Dewey had spoken.'

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About Alan Ryan

Alan Ryan was warden of New College, Oxford University, where he was a professor of political theory. He is the author of John Dewey and the High Tide of American Liberalism, Bertrand Russell: A Political Life, and On Politics: A History of Political Thought from Herodotus to the Present. Edwin Burrage Child (b. 1868- d.1937) was an American painter primarily known for landscapes, figure subjects, and portraits.

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