Monday, March 17, 2014

Quote of the day: Lumbering

Here is another difference between the Progressive Era and the present: in those days, journalists revealed publicly what insiders knew privately, and readers were na├»ve enough—or serious enough about the responsibilities of citizenship—to be outraged by the revelations. If the reining in of capitalist excess depends on this kind of relationship between the press and the public, our second Gilded Age may last much longer than the first.

- Jackson Lears, reviewing The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism, Doris Kearns Goodwin's utterly predictable, centrist-safe, and beltway-insidery history of the progressive movement in the first Gilded Age, a book which he describes as "a lumbering production" and a "thoroughly mediocre book."

Progressivism has had its problems, then and now. With friends like Goodwin, does it need enemies?

Lears' review goes on the p3 Readings list.

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