Herbert Croly ( 1869-1929) exercised a profound effect upon Mr. Frankfurter, as he did upon all young "progressives" who came of age during the "Bull Moose" days. His Promise of American Life, published in 1909, just when the "progressive" movement became articulate, was one of the books which, by Mr. Frankfurter's own testimony, most influenced his political thinking. From the foundation of the New Republicuntil Mr. Croly's death they were intimately associated. This piece was contributed to a commemorative issue of the New Republicwhich appeared on July 16, 1930.
HE ILLUSION of fresh stirrings possesses every generation. Certainty that an old tradition has become inadequate may merely prove the strength of the illusion. Yet a quarter-century ought to correct the blind vanity of youth. In any event, those of us who came to maturity in the Roosevelt era are still confident that new questionings and confusions and conflicts were beginning then to push their way to the surface of American society. The raucous voices and pugnacities of the Roosevelt days were not merely reflexes of his personality. Rather does Theodore Roosevelt appear to have been a function of his time--the first President to express the need for adjusting our political system to the changes resulting from the practical cessation of pioneer conditions and the increasing concentration of economic power. To be sure, the conflict between the Western farmer and the Eastern capitalist had already registered itself in the '70s in successive agricultural movements; the assertion of national