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dc.contributor.authorEisenach, Eldon J.
dc.date.accessioned2021-10-13T20:31:54Z
dc.date.available2021-10-13T20:31:54Z
dc.date.issued1994-06-21
dc.identifier.isbn978-0-7006-3087-5
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1808/32159
dc.descriptionEldon J. Eisenach is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Tulsa and the author of several books, including Sacred Discourse and Nationality in American Political Thought and The Next Religious Establishment: National Identity and Political Theology in Post-Protestant America.en_US
dc.descriptionWith a New Preface by the Author.
dc.descriptionThis Kansas Open Books title is funded by a grant from the National Endowment for Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Humanities Open Book Program.
dc.description.abstractLong before the current calls for national service, civic responsibility, and the restoration of community values, the Progressives initiated a remarkably similar challenge. Eldon Eisenach traces the evolution of this powerful national movement from its theoretical origins through its dramatic rise and sudden demise, and shows why their philosophy still speaks to us with such eloquence.

Eisenach analyzes how and why, between 1885 and World War I, progressive political ideas conquered almost every cultural and intellectual bastion except constitutional law and dominated every major national institution except the courts and party system. Progressives, he demonstrates, were especially influential as a force in American politics, higher education, and the media. They created wideranging professional networks that functioned like a "hidden national government" to counter a federal government they deeply distrusted. They viewed the university as their national "Church"—the main repository and disseminator of values they espoused. They established truly national journals for a national audience. And they drew much support from women's rights advocates and other highly vocal movements of their time.

Permeated with an evangelical Protestant vision of the future, progressive thought was an integral part of the national discourse for nearly three decades. But, as Eisenach reveals, at the very moment of its triumph it disintegrated as both a coherent theory and a viable public doctrine. With the election in 1912 of Woodrow Wilson, the movement reached its peak, but thereafter lost its momentum and force. Its precipitous decline was accelerated by world war and by the rise of New Deal liberalism. By the end of the Depression it had disappeared as an influential player in American public life.

In the decades that followed, the Progressive mantle went unclaimed. Conservatives blamed the Progressives for the rise of the welfare state and many liberals cringed at their theological and imperialist rhetoric. Eisenach, however, argues that we still have much to learn about and from the Progressives. By enlarging our understanding of their thought, we greatly increase our understanding of an America whose national institutions—political, cultural, educational, religious, professional, economic, and journalistic—are all largely the product of this thinking. In other words, their ideas are still very much with us.
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dc.format.extentx, 292 pp.
dc.publisherUniversity Press of Kansasen_US
dc.relation.isversionofhttps://kansaspress.ku.edu/978-0-7006-1104-1.htmlen_US
dc.rights© 1994, 2021 by the University Press of Kansas All rights reserved. The text of this book is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License.en_US
dc.rights.urihttps:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0en_US
dc.titleThe Lost Promise of Progressivismen_US
dc.typeBooken_US
dc.rights.accessrightsopenAccessen_US


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© 1994, 2021 by the University Press of Kansas
All rights reserved.
The text of this book is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License.
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as: © 1994, 2021 by the University Press of Kansas All rights reserved. The text of this book is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License.