Reformers and war : American progressive publicists and the First World War /
John A. Thompson.
Cambridge [Cambridgeshire] : New York : Cambridge University Press, 1987.
xi, 300 p. ; 24 cm.
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Cambridge [Cambridgeshire] : New York : Cambridge University Press, 1987.
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Includes bibliographical references and index.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1988-03:
Thompson, (St. Catherine's College, Cambridge University) examines the effect of WW I on a select group of publicists and journals who promoted the Progressive movement. Focusing on writers like R.S. Baker, Lincoln Steffens, Amos Pinchot, John Spargo, Frederic C. Howe, Paul Kellogg, and Walter Lippmann, and on the journals Independent, New Republic, and Survey, Thompson draws a picture of widely differing men agreeing principally that American society had to become socially democratic through a more active government. Thompson traces their varying responses to the advent of WW I, to the domestic questions of preparedness and entry into the war, and to the issues of reconstruction after the war, and highlights their disillusionment at Versailles, and the ``Red scare.'' The variety of their responses, he argues, resulted from their differing emotional commitments to European nations as well as from their differing sociopolitical views. He concludes that by 1914, they were already frustrated at their inability to effectuate their programs; they hoped that the unwanted war would force the US to adopt the kinds of measures they sought. Failure to continue such measures after 1919 led them to despair of ever attaining their goals. No bibliography, but excellent notes. College, university, and public libraries.-J.F. Mahoney, Seton Hall University
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Choice, March 1988
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Description for Bookstore
This book examines the confrontation between the American reform tradition and the first of the world conflicts in which America was involved. It focuses on the writers and journals most associated with the 'progressive movement'. This account revises earlier views about both the attitudes of progressives towards the war and the decline of the 'progressive movement'.
Main Description
The subject of this book is the confrontation between the American reform tradition, historically inward-looking, and the first of the world conflicts in which the United States has been involved in the twentieth century. It focuses upon those writers and journals most prominently associated with 'the progressive movement' and examines their response to the First World War and the effect of the war on their thinking. During 'the progressive era' a number of journalists and authors had acquired national reputations as social critics or as spokesmen for reform. This thoroughly researched account revises earlier views about both the attitudes of progressives toward the war and the decline of 'the progressive movement.' It will be of interest to students of the intellectual history of American foreign policy as well as of progressivism.
Table of Contents
Location of manuscript collections
Progressive publicists
The pre-war progressive consensus
War in Europe
Foreign policy and the debate over intervention
The wartime experience
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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