Trial Balance: The Education of an American

By Alan Valentine | Go to book overview

XII
The Social Animal

THE basis of human society, it seemed to Angus, is men's need for one another. Much of that need is economic and domestic, but the human animal instinctively seeks the company of his fellows for reasons beyond food, security, and reproduction. Democratic society is founded on the premise that men's mutual dependence is happiest when it is implemented by mutual respect. That respect is effective only if it is instinctive. It is not enough for a man to accept intellectually his membership in the human race; he must feel it and enjoy it, and identify himself with the hopes and disappointments of those about him. To make mutual respect natural as well as logical should be a primary objective of society.

The first step toward liking other people is understanding them. Throughout all his schooling, only one teacher ever suggested to Angus, in concrete terms, that observation of men in action is an essential part of education. Professor Brooks of Swarthmore used to urge his students to make the acquaintance of politicians in their home towns, or of ward heelers and local

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Trial Balance: The Education of an American
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 5
  • Preface 7
  • Part 1 - Education By Plan 13
  • I - Tribal Origins 15
  • II - Initiations 34
  • III - The Pursuit of Praise 49
  • IV - Puritan's Progress 75
  • V - Exploration 100
  • VI - The Academic Mind 121
  • VII - Men of Science 144
  • Part 2 - Education By Accident 161
  • VIII - Dollar Diplomacy 163
  • IX - The Oriental Mind 183
  • X - Political Economics 202
  • XI - The Political Mind 218
  • XII - The Social Animal 239
  • XIII - Unity and Diversity 259
  • XIV - Angus Emeritus 280
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