Young Sidney Hook: Marxist and Pragmatist

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Cornell University Press, 1997 - Philosophy - 257 pages
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?This is a provocative, elegantly crafted piece of our intellectual history. Phelps?s rediscovery of Hook?s radical philosophy is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the fate of the American left.?--Michael Kazin, author of The Populist Persuasion: An American History ?Like other famous rebels who eventually came home to patriotism and conservatism, Hook?s life is one of breathtaking intellectual twists and turns. He occupied, at one time or another, almost every intellectual position available on the left: Leninist, Trotskyist, right-wing Socialist plus several nuances between them. . . . Christopher Phelps, in his persuasive new biography of young Sidney Hook, . . . strives . . . to uncover the young philosopher and activist at the height of his powers. What he discovers is not just a brilliant interpreter of Marx and the Russian Revolution, but a remarkable advocate and practitioner of the Americanization of Marxism.?--Jim Gilbert, In These Times ?Sidney Hook?s critics and admirers have long held that his pragmatism was incompatible with his early Marxist politics. In this fine book, Christopher Phelps shows why they are wrong and, in the process, offers the first major study of Hook?s intellectual development and political activism.?--Casey Blake, author of Beloved Community: The Cultural Criticism of Randolph Bourne, Van Wyck Brooks, Waldo Frank, and Lewis Mumford ?The very best kind of intellectual biography sheds light not only on the life and ideas of its subject but on a whole tradition of though and a historical epoch. This deeply intelligent and elegantly written book does all those things admirably, and has the added--and rare--virtue of making its own original contribution to the clarification of some thorny issues in social theory, and Marxist theory in particular.?--Ellen Meiksins Wood, author of Democracy against Capitalism: Renewing Historical Materialism

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Young Sidney Hook: Marxist and pragmatist

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Sidney Hook came to believe that socialism as an economic system had failed in our time because it had neither solved the problem of incentive nor found a substitute for the free market to give people ... Read full review


Introduction I
Revolution and Philosophy 190230
Communism and Pragmatism 193033
Marxism Democracy Science 193336
Twilight of Revolution 193638
The Constraints of Cultural Freedom 193873
The Marxism of Sidney Hook
Appendix on Sources

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Page 188 - A means can be justified only by its end. But the end in its turn needs to be justified. From the Marxist point of view, which expresses the historical interests of the proletariat, the end is justified if it leads to increasing the power of man over nature and to the abolition of the power of man over man.

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About the author (1997)

Phelps teaches history at Ohio State University.

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