Social Darwinism in American Thought

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Beacon Press, 1944 - History - 248 pages
5 Reviews
Social Darwinism in American Thought portrays the overall influence of Darwin on American social theory and the notable battle waged among thinkers over the implications of evolutionary theory for social thought and political action. Theorists such as Herbert Spencer and William Graham Sumner adopted the idea of the struggle for existence as justification for the evils as well as the benefits of laissez-faire modern industrial society. Others such as William James and John Dewey argued that human planning was needed to direct social development and improve upon the natural order. Hofstadter's classic study of the ramifications of Darwinism is a major analysis of the social philosophies that animated intellectual movements of the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era.
  

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User Review  - Scapegoats - LibraryThing

Darwinism caused a serious stir in Europe but took a while to get traction in the United States. Part of the reason was Origin of the Species was published just before the American Civil War. After ... Read full review

Review: Social Darwinism in American Thought

User Review  - Shane Avery - Goodreads

His first published book. More impressive scholarship than both his later Age of Reform & The Idea of a Two-Party System, perhaps combined. Why? Originally written in 1940-42, published in 44 ... Read full review

Contents

AUTHORS INTRODUCTION
3
THE COMING OF DARWINISM
13
THE VOGUE OF SPENCER
31
WILLIAM GRAHAM SUMNER SOCIAL DARWINIST
51
CRITIC
67
EVOLUTION ETHICS AND SOCIETY
85
THE DISSENTERS
105
7 THE CURRENT OF PRAGMATISM
123
TRENDS IN SOCIAL THEORY 18901915
143
RACISM AND IMPERIALISM
170
CONCLUSION
201
BIBLIOGRAPHY
205
NOTES
217
INDEX
243
Copyright

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About the author (1944)

Richard Hofstadter (1916-1970) was a Dewitt Clinton Professor of American History at Columbia University and author of many books. He was awarded Pulitzer Prizes for The Age of Reform and Anti-Intellectualism in American Life.

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