Social Theory: The Multicultural and Classic Readings

By Charles Lemert | Go to book overview

PART TWO
Social Theories and World Conflict: 1919-1945

If the prevailing attitude in the West's classical age was denial, then in the interwar years it was shock. The world wars, the Holocaust, failure in the capitalist worldsystem, fascism, Hitler, Stalin--these were not supposed to be. It was not that the nineteenth century had been free of war, economic trouble, or political terror-- hardly. But in the popular imagination, these horrors were expected to loosen their hold as time went by. That was the promise of modern society. Progress! Everything was Progress.

The very foundations of modern culture in the European world, including North America, were inspiring because they were so simple: Man, freed from political tyranny, if he dare think for himself, will know the Truth. What is the Truth? Simply that Man, enlightened and free, will make the world better. Though these exact words were said by no one in particular, the idea they express was everywhere from the eighteenth century well into the twentieth. You can find it in Kant and the philosophes in France; in and behind the American Declaration of Independence, the French Declaration of the Rights of Man, and The Communist Manifesto; in Adam Smith and the political economists; in the framers of early American political consciousness--Tom Paine, Thomas Jefferson, and many others; among those, like Herbert Spencer, who applied Darwinian principles to modern society; and, of course, in the writings of all the classic social theorists. Everywhere.

This new culture also inspired the practical thinking of the masses. Some picked it up from intellectual and political leaders. Others just caught it from the air of the times. In fact, few of the dramatic political or economic events in the hundred years following 1776 would have been possible without a prior conversion to this new faith by great numbers of people. One does not need to be a historian of the nineteenth century to imagine what poor and working people, as well as the bourgeoisie, must have felt in those days. Who among those who stormed the Bastille on July 14, 1789, would dare to stand against the weight of traditional authority if he did not believe truth was on his side? Who among those who migrated in the 1830s from the agrarian countryside to new industrial centers in the north of England could possibly abandon family roots in the raising of sheep's wool for the cotton-weaving factory if they did not believe in a better life? Who in the United States of the 1860s would leave her roots in the East to join a frontiersman in the Indian territories if she did not somehow believe in Progress? Who among the millions of European immigrants to Chicago, to the plains of the Northwest Territories, and to the factories of the Northeast could

-191-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Social Theory: The Multicultural and Classic Readings
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 674

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.