The Pragmatic Revolt in Politics

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The Pragmatic Revolt in Politics

By William Y. Elliott
Macmillan, 1928
557 pp. $3.75
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In this learned and profound study the Harvard professor attempts to get at the root of the present day spirit of revolt against the constitutional liberal State of the nineteenth century and to discover the philosophic basis underlying the most recent political thinking and practice. An examination of the pragmatism of James leads to a discussion of the attacks of men like Laski and Sorel upon the idea of the omnipotence of the State and to a critique of their suggestions for a pluralistic organization of society. On the other hand, the philosophy of Dewey, it is shown, leads to the ideas set forth in Duguit's Law and the State and ultimately to Mussolini's Fascism, of which a careful and thoughtful analysis is given. No brief note could do justice to the author's closely reasoned argument or wealth of illustrative material, but it may be said with confidence that the book is one which should not be overlooked by anyone interested in current political problems or in the intellectual factors which underlie political action.

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