How should historians characterize the relationships between progressives and radicals in the early twentieth century? Or, more specifically, how did the era’s leftists influence mainstream reformers? These are the central questions Jacob Kramer seeks to answer in his thought-provoking and well-researched book. For Kramer, progressives were neither reactionary wolves in sheep’s clothing nor radicals disguised as moderates. He explains that influential progressives shared a number of goals with radicals in the first decade of the twentieth century, supported repressive campaigns against them during World War I, and demonstrated a mix of acceptance and rejection in the postwar period. Such relationships were not static, and Kramer highlights their achievements, limitations, and flexibility while insisting that “ideas concerning radicalism were always an important part of progressivism” (2). “Radicalism was not marginal,” he writes, “but central to the development of twentieth-century American politics and...
The New Freedom and the Radicals: Woodrow Wilson, Progressive Views of Radicalism, and the Origins of Repressive Tolerance by Jacob Kramer
Chad Pearson; The New Freedom and the Radicals: Woodrow Wilson, Progressive Views of Radicalism, and the Origins of Repressive Tolerance by Jacob Kramer. Labor 1 May 2017; 14 (2): 127–129. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/15476715-3790375
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