Letters of Sidney Hook: Democracy, Communism, and the Cold War
Sidney Hook (1902-1989) was a philosopher, a college professor, America's leading disciple of John Dewey, and, during the 1930s, perhaps America's most significant explicator of Karl Marx. He was also for many years arguably the country's most astute and important anti-communist intellectual. This volume is the first devoted to his private letters. Selected from the voluminous collection of his papers at the Hoover Institution Archives at Stanford University and spanning the years 1929 to 1987, the letters contain Hook's views on such subjects as war and peace, Marxism and communism, the Soviet Union, the Spanish Civil War, the Cold War, and the Vietnam War.
Hook was a prolific letter writer, and he corresponded with a great variety of individuals. Some were strangers who had written to him concerning an article or book review he had just published, others were prominent intellectuals - among them Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell, and Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., to name just a few - and still others were public officials. Hook saw himself, above all, as a teacher, and as a teacher he felt it his duty to discuss with anyone who would listen his conception of the obligations of democratic citizenship. Hook had enormous faith in the power of education and reason and in the soundness of America's democratic institutions and values. That faith is reflected in these letters.
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