Charles A. Beard, An Intellectual Biography

By Ellen Nore | Go to book overview

4

Progressivism and
Twentieth-Century
Citizenship

Through the years at Columbia the tempo of Beard's already demanding life, within and without the university, increased. In living his vision of the scholar who not only read and talked about social ideals but who also ventured forth to implement them, Beard assaulted the tradition of the gentleman-scholar who experienced the world through the pages of books alone. From 1912 until 1914 he was one of two editors of an important new journal in the field of municipal reform, The National Municipal Review. In March 1914 he became director of The Training School for Public Service of the New York Bureau of Municipal Research. In 1918 he became director of the bureau itself. Excluding revisions of earlier textbooks, he wrote five more books between 1912 and 1915, in addition to a civics text for high schools written in collaboration with Mary Beard. He continued to publish articles and reviews in scholarly journals, and he wrote regularly for The New Republic after its beginning in 1914. He and Mary were often in demand as speakers, and they worked together and separately in a number of positive civic causes. Charles' books and articles were monuments to his confidence in himself as a "man of affairs" a person with a duty to promote critical thinking among his fellow citizens. Rather than emerging from the competitive context of an academic environment, his writings were a natural extension of his day-to-day practical involvement in the movements for efficient and humane city government, social justice, and woman suffrage.

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