, Volume 55, Issue 2, pp 131–135 | Cite as

In Praise of The American Political Tradition

  • Stephen J. Whitfield
Symposium: Richard Hoftstadter and The American Political Tradition


No book is more exemplary in identifying the continuity of democratic statesmanship in the United States than Richard Hofstadter's second book. Its scope is long—from the Framers through the New Deal. The author's insights are brilliant, expressed with literary brio. No other book manages to convey the basic homogeneity of American politics with such persuasiveness, in blending that tradition with the defense of enterprise and property (and in sprinkling the portraits with such acerbic wit). The unifying thread nevertheless needs to be modified in the light of greater sensitivity to the ordeal of race, and in evaluating how the heritage of the New Deal has tempered the commitment to an unbridled capitalism.


Boorstin, Daniel J. Calhoun, John C. Capitalism Consensus Hoover, Herbert Lincoln, Abraham Phillips, Ulrich B. Phillips, Wendell Roosevelt, Franklin D. Social Darwinism 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.American Studies ProgramBrandeis UniversityWalthamUSA

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