The Promise of American Life
|The Promise of American Life|
Publisher: The Macmillan Company
The Promise of American Life was a book written by Herbert Croly, which was one of the most influential political books of the 20th century. A major theme of the book is Croly's interpretation of "Hamiltonian" and "Jeffersonian" values and what it meant for the future of the country. Additionally, he supports the elimination of limited government.
Though not widely read outside of academic circles, the book would have a lasting effect on President Theodore Roosevelt and may have been the source for the concept of the New Nationalism. It would also have a role in shaping the New Deal.
After reading The Promise of American Life, former President Theodore Roosevelt wrote the following:
In Mr. Herbert Croly's 'Promise of American Life," the most profound and illuminating study of our National conditions which has appeared for many years, especial emphasis is laid on the assertion that the whole point of our governmental experiment lies in the fact that it is a genuine effort to achieve true democracy - both political and industrial.
Writing in The Federalist, C. C. Taylor wrote:
Observers outside the progressive consciousness routinely mischaracterize the book as a tome on freedom and liberty. They misunderstand Croly as sort of a reincarnated Founding Father. In reality, the book’s assumptions are authoritarian, and its author a collectivist.
In the book, Croly argued that a more equitable distribution of wealth was desirable.
In becoming responsible for the subordination of the individual to the demand of a dominant and constructive national purpose the American state will in effect be making itself responsible for a morally and socially desirable distribution of wealth.
- Page 23
Croly followed up with his second work, Progressive Democracy.
- The Democratic Imagination in America: Conversations with Our Past
- Encyclopedia of Politics: The Left and the Right
- Herbert D. Croly: Apostle of Progressivism, Heritage Foundation
- A Study Guide for Herbert Croly's "The Promise of American Life"
- Herbert Croly’s America
- The California Republic: Institutions, Statesmanship, and Policies
- Herbert Croly’s The Promise of American Life at Its Centenary
- Roosevelt, Theodore (January 21, 1911). Nationalism and Popular Rule. The Outlook 96–101.
- This Liberal Philosopher Proves The Left Loves Authoritarianism
- Herbert Croly and The Promise of American Life
- The Unfinished City: New York and the Metropolitan Idea