In Praise of 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.