It will never be known what acts of cowardice have been motivated by the fear of not looking sufficiently progressive.
—Charles Péguy, Notre Patrie, 1905

It is a pity that no one has yet written a history of the progressive mind in America. We are just distant enough from the heyday of progressivism to have a certain perspective on its characteristic ways of looking at the world, yet we are still just close enough to its demise—or its transmutation into something else—to have some vivid first-hand memories of the peculiar intellectual deformations it visited upon our political and cultural life for something like a third of the present century. Entire areas of American life—the media and publishing worlds, the entertainment industry, the Federal bureaucracy, education, the academy, even the churches—cannot be wholly understood without a firm grasp of what the progressive...


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