Beyond the Frontier

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-05-01
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
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As the world went to war in 1941, Time Magazine founder Henry Luce coined a term for what was rapidly becoming the establishment view of America's role in the world: the twentieth century, he argued, was the American Century. Many of the nation's most eminent historiansnearly all of them from the East Coastagreed with this vision and its endorsement of the vigorous use of power and persuasion to direct world affairs. But an important concentration of midwestern historians actively dissented. With Beyond the Frontier, David S. Brown tells their little-known story of opposition. Raised in a cultural landscape that combined agrarian provincialism with reform-minded progressivism, these historiansamong them Charles Beard, William Appleman Williams, and Christopher Laschargued strenuously against the imperial presidencies, interventionist foreign policies, and Keynesian capitalism that swiftly shaped cold war America. Casting a skeptical eye on the burgeoning military-industrial complex and its domestic counterpart, the welfare state, they warned that both components of the liberal internationalist vision jeopardized the individualistic, republican ethos that had long lain at the heart of American democracy. Drawing on interviews, personal papers, and correspondence of the important players in the debate, Brown has written a fascinating follow-up to his critically acclaimed biography of Richard Hofstadter. Illuminating key ideas that link midwestern writers from Frederick Jackson Turner all the way to William Cronon and Thomas Frank, Beyond the Frontier is intellectual history at its best: grounded in real lives and focused on issues that remain salientand unresolvedeven today.

Author Biography

David S. Brown is professor of history at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania. He is the author of Thomas Jefferson: A Biographical Companion and Richard Hofstadter: An Intellectual Biography, the latter published by the University of Chicago Press.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Golden Meridian Prologue: Chicago, 1893
The Progressive Age, 1890–1945
Midwestern Renaissance
Founding Father: Frederick Jackson Turner
Progressive Maximus: Charles Beard
The Liberal Age, 1945–1970
A House Divided
Remaking American Radicalism
Liberal Nemesis: William Appleman Williams
The Conservative Age, 1970–
Populist of the Heart: Christopher Lasch
New Century, Old Dreams nbsp; Notes Sources: Archives, Interviews, and Correspondence
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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