The Hard Years: A Look at Contemporary America and American Institutions

By Eugene J. McCarthy | Go to book overview

41
Lewis Mumford

Lewis Mumford, social philosopher and critic, has taught at several universities. He is a leading authority on the city and the author of many books, including The Myth of the Machine and The Urban Prospect.

Lewis Mumford's efforts to draw the attention of the country to the reality of urbanization and to the need for rational ordering of city life have distinguished him through the years. If one were to make a list of great books which, had sufficient attention been paid, would have changed the culture of the United States and would have prevented degradation and disorder, the books of Lewis Mumford would have to be listed among the most significant.

After the first or second moon landing, I thought that the subsequent flights should have been directed to places like East St. Louis and Newark. The astronauts sent to those places could have been instructed to bring back eighty to one hundred pounds of material. Upon analysis the material brought back would have indicated that there had once been cities on the sites visited, with a culture somewhere between the Late Iron and the Early Plastic ages, but that the sites no longer supported human life.

Not only has Lewis Mumford written about a most important subject in warning of this trend but he has written books under siege. The need for books was challenged first by magazines using the written word and then by magazines using pictures. But Life, the original picture news magazine of our time, finally was done in by its own methodology -- by color television with its instant history and multiple choices. Now I fear that the English language may disappear some Sunday afternoon between the opening of Face the Nation and the end of Issues and Answers -- if it survives Meet the Press. After

-203-

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The Hard Years: A Look at Contemporary America and American Institutions
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction by Tom Wicker vii
  • Preface xix
  • Part I - Institutions 1
  • 1 - Toward a More Responsible Presidency 3
  • 2 - The Vice President as Crown Prince 15
  • 3 - Changes in the Congress 19
  • 4 - The Courts, the Last Appeal 28
  • 5 - Court of Ideas 32
  • 6 - A Kind Word for the Bureaucrats 35
  • 7 - A Kind Word for the Military 45
  • 8 - A Warning About the Military Establishment 49
  • 9 - The Cia and the Inner Ring 58
  • 10 - The Corporations 61
  • 11 - The Universities 68
  • 12 - The Democratic and Republican Parties 75
  • 13 - Alternatives to the Major Parties 80
  • Part II - Operations 87
  • 14 - A Hard Look at the Primaries 89
  • 15 - Personality Cults 96
  • 16 - The Cult of the Expert 97
  • 17 - A Good and Becoming Exit 100
  • 18 - Listen to Mr. Parkinson 104
  • 19 - The Sst: Object Lesson in Dynamics of Opposition 106
  • 20 - The Lobbyists 109
  • 21 - Grant Park, Chicago 116
  • 22 - Marching on Washington 118
  • 23 - Changing America 122
  • Part III - Principles 125
  • 24 - Innocence in Politics 127
  • 25 - Language and Politics 130
  • 26 - Poetry and War 135
  • 27 - Ares 144
  • 28 - Intellectuals and Politics 148
  • 29 - Out of Phase 155
  • 30 - Trouble in the Economics Community 158
  • 31 - Constitutional Amendments 165
  • 32 - Five Systems of Justice 170
  • 33 - The Enemies List 173
  • 34 - Censorship 182
  • Part IV - A Good Person is Not So Hard to Find 185
  • 35 - John Bennett 187
  • 36 - Emerson Hynes 189
  • 37 - John Kennedy 190
  • 38 - Dan and Doris Kimball 193
  • 39 - Robert Lowell 196
  • 40 - Wayne Morse 197
  • 41 - Lewis Mumford 203
  • 42 - Eleanor Roosevelt 205
  • 43 - Frank Rosenblatt 207
  • 44 - Adlai Stevenson 208
  • Notes 215
  • Index 223
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