In This Review

Atlantic Crossings: Social Politics in a Progressive Age
Atlantic Crossings: Social Politics in a Progressive Age
By Daniel T. Rodgers
Belknap Press, 1998, 672 pp.

This book pulls into view another dimension of the Anglo-American relationship and broader Atlantic ties. Conversant in a formidable range of topics across two continents, Rodgers ably puts ideas, not impersonal forces, at the center of this century's great eras of reform. He describes Progressive and New Deal responses to the Industrial Revolution as really Atlantic in origin, not just American -- full of borrowings from kindred social thinkers and urban planners watching their transatlantic counterparts. Europe was the experimental hothouse. But Rodgers sees the connection unraveling in the 1940s, when "American progressives no longer marched toward the future with an eye cocked on their western European competitors." Perhaps because they did not fall within the acquired meaning of the word "progressive," Rodgers does not mention people like Friedrich Hayek, or Hayek's 1947 Mont Pelerin Society, which included Milton Friedman.