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Book Review of The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas in America

The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas in America
reviewed on
Helpful Score: 2


This is an extraordinarily rich account of the development of pragmatism - the basis for modern liberalism. Menand deals with topics as diverse as The Civil War, The Pullman Strike, Thermodynamics, Law, Politics, and the outcome of an inheritance dispute, and ties them all together into a synthesis of the ideas that undergird the New Deal, the Great Society, and modern liberal thought.

This is not an argument for liberalism, rather it is an account of where it cam from. Don't expect one of those political tracts that fill up the bookshelves in Borders - "Dramatic Phrase: the danger to America from ______", etc. This is thorough, academic, intelligent work that is never glib, never trite, and always engaging.


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