By Reinhold Niebuhr
“[Niebuhr] is considered one of my favourite philosophers. I remove [from his works] the compelling concept that there’s severe evil on this planet, and hassle and ache. And we must always be humble and modest in our trust we will dispose of these issues. yet we shouldn’t use that as an excuse for cynicism and state of no activity. I remove . . . the feel we need to make those efforts understanding they're hard.”—President Barack Obama Forged throughout the tumultuous yet successful postwar years whilst the USA got here of age as an international energy, The Irony of yankee History is extra suitable now than ever ahead of. mentioned through politicians as various as Hillary Clinton and John McCain, Niebuhr’s masterpiece at the incongruity among own beliefs and political fact is either an indictment of yankee ethical complacency and a caution opposed to the confidence of advantage. Impassioned, eloquent, and deeply perceptive, Niebuhr’s knowledge will reason readers to reconsider their assumptions approximately correct and mistaken, battle and peace.
“The very best American theologian of the 20 th century.”—Arthur Schlesinger Jr., New York Times
“Niebuhr is necessary for the left this present day accurately simply because he warned approximately America’s tendency—including the left’s tendency—to do undesirable issues within the identify of idealism. His idea deals a far better realizing of the place the Bush management went unsuitable in Iraq.”—Kevin Mattson, The reliable Society
“Irony offers the grasp key to figuring out the myths and delusions that underpin American statecraft. . . . crucial ebook ever written on US international policy.”—Andrew J. Bacevich, from the advent
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Additional resources for The Irony of American History
As we shall see, applying such a concept has a particular heuristic value when applied to fascist ideology and practice, despite the radical differences which clearly separate the largely spontaneous explosion of populist mythic energies unleashed by the French Revolution from those deliberately engineered in ordinary citizens by Fascist and Nazi elites. 4 ∗ This chapter is based on a talk given for a postgraduate seminar series on Fascism held at University College London in 1997, which was then written up as a paper to appear in 1998 on the newly created Electronic Seminars in History (see http://www.
Nevertheless, occultism and visionary art were not the only channels through which such longings could be expressed in the ‘fin de si`ecle’ – the very concept of which implied not only that a whole era of values and sensibility was closing, but that another might be opening. Other figures attempted to contribute to the inauguration of a new time through philosophy and social theory, Friedrich Nietzsche and Georges Sorel being outstanding examples here. Both thinkers specifically looked to (differently conceived) mythic energies rather than Enlightenment reason as the basis for of the regeneration of European society.
18 The writings of some Syndicalists – theorising the desired Marxist revolution in terms of myth, voluntarism, and the nation rather than socio-economics, determinism, and the Communist International – had also helped convert him from an internationalist to a ‘I am no longer human. I am a Titan. 20 Futurists consciously conceived their revolution as a metamorphosis in the experience of space and time. Indeed, in the very first of many Futurist manifestos Filippo Marinetti had proclaimed: We stand on the last promontory of the centuries!