Catalogue


Men against myths : the progressive response /
Fred Greenbaum.
imprint
Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 2000.
description
223 p. ; 25 cm.
ISBN
027596888X (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 2000.
isbn
027596888X (alk. paper)
catalogue key
3826205
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Fred Greenbaum is Professor of History at Queensborough Community College, City University of New York
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2001-02-01:
This multiple biography deals with the progressive response to the rise of big business. During the late 19th century, industrialists and their advocates glorified the corporate elites and their increasing dominance of American society, based on the Darwinian notion of survival of the fittest. The challenge to this "mythology" came largely from progressive politicians--George Norris, William Borah, Hiram Johnson, William Gibbs McAdoo, Bainbridge Colby, and Edward Prentiss Costigan--herein defined as those who "carved out a role for government in controlling the excesses of unfettered capitalism and providing protection for the populace." Author Greenbaum has done an excellent job in analyzing their individual reactions to the problems of industrial capitalism, giving the reader a better understanding of what it meant to be a progressive. As with any multiple biography, the choice of subjects is open for debate; while Greenbaum chose to focus on politicians (an overwhelmingly male group), some may argue that the inclusion of at least one woman might have provided a broader explication of progressive reform. Still, this is an excellent work, more so for its interpretation than narration. Therefore, it is recommended for an academic audience, especially those who already have some understanding of this era. R. F. Zeidel; University of Wisconsin--Stout
Reviews
Review Quotes
'œ...Greenbaum has done an excellent job in analyzing...individual reactions to the problems of industrial capitalism, giving the reader a better understanding of what it meant to be a progressive...this is an excellent work...recommended for an academic audience...'' Choice
'œGreenbaum provides as intriguing examination of the bases of the capitalist myth.'' Nebraska History
'œGreenbaum's research is solid. He has a firm command of the subject matter. And his succinct profiles of the six Progressives are informative and readable.'' The Journal of American History
'œ'Men Against Myth' is a scholarly and well-detailed history highlighting the beginnings of progressive social and economic reform in America.'' Queens Chronicle
'œ[U]seful catalogue of Progressive politicians' careers.'' The Historian
"Building on his earlier biographies of LaFollette and Costigan, he makes clear that while there were no 'representative' Progressives, their desire to serve the public interest by opposing business control of politics has a special relevance in today's 'market economy.' This is a book to prompt thinking about the American past and present." - Irwin H. Polishook Professor of History City University of New York
"His evident praise of progressivism with all its differences is a refreshing rejoinder to the usual current attacks on liberalism and ought to find a wide audience beyond academe." - Hans L. Trefousse Distinguished Professor Emeritus Brooklyn College of the City University of New York
"Professor Greenbaum's wonderfully drawn profiles of six early 20th century progressives are long overdue. Their careers and often contrarian positions should remind us of how far society has lapsed into thoughtless acceptance of what have become the governing mythologies of American capitalism. Disagreeing with some of Greenbaum's conclusions will not negate the need to rethink more recent and more fashionable assumptions." - Herbert S. Parmet Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus The City University of New York
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, February 2001
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Summaries
Long Description
Greenbaum examines the use of use of myth as a means of social control and examines the corporate mythology of the Gilded Age. Progressive politicians led the opposition to these myths, arguing that government was not to be used to enrich corporations, but to reduce their economic and political power and to increase equity. The progressive challenge redirected government to serve the larger commonwealth and, thus, transformed ordinary lives. Gilded Age mythology, resurrected in the 1980s, restored corporate domination and economic inequity. Through his extensive analysis of the lives of six prominent Progressives, Greenbaum seeks to contravene contemporary mythology. He begins with George Norris of Nebraska, a Republican Congressman and Senator from 1906 until 1942; William E. Borah, Republican of Idaho, who served in the Senate from 1906 until his death in 1940; and Hiram Johnson, who was Republican Governor of California, Progressive Vice Presidential candidate in 1912, and Senator from 1916 until his demise in 1945. These chapters are followed by an examination of William Gibbs McAdoo, a New York business promoter, who was Wilson's Secretary of the Treasury, the leading candidate for the 1924 Democratic Presidential nomination, and Senator from California from 1932 until 1938; Bainbridge Colby, a New York legislator, who supported Theodore Roosevelt in 1912 and was Wilson's last Secretary of State; and Edward P. Costigan, Colorado Republican, who became the Progressive appointee to the Tariff Commission and Democratic Senator from 1930 through 1936. The volume concludes with an analysis of the progressive impulse and contrasts progressive views with resurrected Gilded Age mythology, the new ideas of the 1980s. An important study for scholars, students, and other researchers interested in progressivism and the role of government in American socioeconomic life and intelligent readers interested in ideas.
Unpaid Annotation
Examines key Progressives and the development of their ideas throughout their political lives.
Unpaid Annotation
Greenbaum argues that post-Civil War capitalist mythology justified government facilitation of corporate interests. The progressive challenge redirected government to serve the larger commonwealth and, thus, transformed ordinary lives. Gilded Age mythology, resurrected in the 1980s, restored corporate domination and economic inequity. Through his extensive analysis of the lives of six prominent Progressives, Greenbaum seeks to contravene contemporary mythology.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Power and Mythp. 1
George Norris: Pragmatismp. 7
William E. Borah: The Wisdom of Our Fathersp. 53
Hiram Johnson: Isolationistp. 97
William Gibbs McAdoo: Business Promoter as Politicianp. 131
Bainbridge Colby: Conservative as Progressivep. 153
Edward P. Costigan: Urban Progressivep. 171
Progressives: An Analysisp. 193
Power at the Millenniump. 201
Selected Bibliographyp. 211
Indexp. 219
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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