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Introduction & Overview of The Promise of American Life

This Study Guide consists of approximately 32 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Promise of American Life.
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The Promise of American Life Summary & Study Guide Description

The Promise of American Life Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Further Reading on The Promise of American Life by Herbert Croly.

The Promise of American Life,published in 1909, is the most comprehensive statement of the Progressive political movement that occurred at the start of the twentieth century. It came at a time when the United States was in great flux due to the Industrial Revolution. At this time, the wealth of the country was becoming increasingly concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer individuals, most often corporate and political bosses. In the text, Croly lays out a plan to regain a political and economic balance through strong federal regulations and social programs. He argues that only programs administered by the federal government can truly help pave the way for America to fulfill the promise of a positive and fair democracy for the greatest number of citizens. Croly's theories were influenced by his parents, who were both political journalists, and by the philosophers with whom he studied at Harvard. Promise was read by President Theodore Roosevelt, who was a proponent of its theories. The term "New Nationalism," which Roosevelt used as the label for his political reforms, was taken directly from Croly's book. Although Promise did not reach a wide readership, it was read by some very wealthy and influential people, including Willard and Dorothy Straight. They were so impressed by Croly's political theories, they contacted him and provided the backing to launch a new periodical of progressive thinking which became The New Republic, a periodical still in circulation today. It is said that some of Croly's proposals were an influence on Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal programs.

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This section contains 257 words
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Nonfiction Classics for Students
The Promise of American Life from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.