Friday, July 16, 2010

The Engaged Mind

Hofstadter on Beard:
 “When he wrote about the economic interests and activities of the Founding Fathers, especially those activities related to politics in a way not always above question from the highest standards of disinterested morality, he wrote fully and with illumination. When he dealt with their ideas about democracy, he was relatively casual; his mind did not become fully engaged with his object, and he was content with a spare and rather literal-minded compound of scattered quotations from the debates in the Constitutional Convention. The muckraking model of thought had brought with it a certain limiting and narrowing definition of reality and a flattening of the imagination.”[i]

[i] Richard Hofstadter, The Age of Reform: From Bryan to F.D.R. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1955), 199-200.

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