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The Promise of American Life Criticism

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The Promise of American Life

is widely acknowledged to be the major treatise on American progressive thought. Although influential, Croly's book was not widely read when it was first published. The readership it did gain, however, was a group of educated, influential, and politically savvy people, including president Theodore Roosevelt. As Edward A. Stettner reports in his book Shaping Modern Liberalism, Roosevelt was so impressed with Croly's theories that he wrote to him, stating, "I do not know when I have read a book which I felt profited me as much as your book on American life. . . . I shall use your ideas freely in speeches I intend to make." Roosevelt actually borrowed the term "new nationalism" from Croly, a label which he applied to his own progressive reforms. Several other of Croly's contemporaries were particularly impressed with his book as well. Stettner also reports that one of Croly's...

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