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eBook Young Sidney Hook: Marxist and Pragmatist ePub

by Christopher Phelps

eBook Young Sidney Hook: Marxist and Pragmatist ePub
Author: Christopher Phelps
Language: English
ISBN: 0472030582
ISBN13: 978-0472030583
Publisher: University of Michigan Press (June 30, 2005)
Pages: 288
Category: Historical
Subcategory: Biography
Rating: 4.3
Votes: 755
Formats: txt docx azw doc
ePub file: 1743 kb
Fb2 file: 1355 kb

This book is the best treatment of the best American Marxist philosopher-and the best philosopher to emerge from American slums. Young Sidney Hook is essential reading for anyone interested in democratic theory and practice in America.

This book is the best treatment of the best American Marxist philosopher-and the best philosopher to emerge from American slums. first-rate contribution to the history of American leftist intellectual life. -Richard Rorty, Raritan "Fascinating.

In the first biography of philosopher Sidney Hook to be published since his death in 1989, Christopher Phelps vividly describes the neglected .

In the first biography of philosopher Sidney Hook to be published since his death in 1989, Christopher Phelps vividly describes the neglected early thought and political history of this important New York intellectual, pragmatist philosopher, and anti-Stalinist polemicist. Throughout the Cold War decades, Hook was a notoriously strident anti-communist. But in terms of teaching us about the Young Sidney Hook, Phelps does admirably in rescuing the early work that has been underappreciated in the American Marxist tradition.

Phelps, Christopher, 1965-. Hook, Sidney, 1902-1989. Cornell University Press. Books for People with Print Disabilities.

Sidney Hook's book The Hero in History was a noticeable event in the studies devoted to the role of the hero, the Great Man in history and the . a b Phelps, Christopher (1997). Young Sidney Hook: Marxist and Pragmatist.

Sidney Hook's book The Hero in History was a noticeable event in the studies devoted to the role of the hero, the Great Man in history and the influence of people of significant accomplishments. Hook opposed all forms of determinism and argued, as had William James, that humans play a creative role in constructing the social world and to transforming their natural environment. pp. 33–34 (Katz), 51 (Katz), 128-129 (Katz), 132 (influence). Young Sidney Hook" is essential reading for anyone interested in democratic theory and practice in America. a] first-rate contribution to the history of American leftist intellectual life. --Richard Rorty, "Raritan" "Fascinating.

Sidney Hook on Pragmatism, Democracy, and Freedom: The . Sidney Hook - 1934 - Prometheus Books.

Sidney Hook on Pragmatism, Democracy, and Freedom: The Essential Essays. Sidney Hook - 2002 - Prometheus Books. Jack Kaminsky - 2004 - International Studies in Philosophy 36 (1):244-245. The Metaphysics of Pragmatism. Sidney Hook - 1927 - Prometheus Books. A Complete Bibliography of Sidney Hook. compiled by Jo Ann Boydston - 1983 - In Paul Kurtz (e., Sidney Hook: Philosopher of Democracy and Humanism.

Home Christopher Phelps Young Sidney Hook: Marxist and Pragmatist. 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. Published by Cornell University Press, 1997. ISBN 10: 0801433282, ISBN 13: 9780801433283. -Casey Blake, Washington University (Department of History) or identify as author of Beloved Community: The Cultural Criticism of Randolph Bourne, Van Wyck Brooks, Waldo Frank, and Lewis Mumford.

Though Lloyd and Phelps hold different views on the relation between pragmatism and Marxism, their work is indispensible for coming to grips with the continuing contradictions of American leftist thought.

Young Sidney Hook: Marxist and Pragmatist. 2d. ed. University of Michigan Press. Why Wouldn’t Sidney Hook Permit the Republication of His Best Book?

Young Sidney Hook: Marxist and Pragmatist. Why Wouldn’t Sidney Hook Permit the Republication of His Best Book? Historical Materialism. Historical Introduction. In: Towards the Understanding of Karl Marx, by Sidney Hook.

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One of the most controversial figures in the history of American philosophy, Sidney Hook was "an intellectual street fighter" and "probably the greatest polemicist" of the twentieth century (Edward Shils).  Widely known as a Cold War liberal and an intellectual progenitor of neoconservativism, Hook began life as a feisty radical. This now-classic intellectual biography reconstructs Hook's youthful project of fusing American pragmatism and Marxism to create a distinctive approach to philosophy and a politics of revolutionary democratic socialism, carefully charting his interaction with intellectuals such as John Dewey and Max Eastman and his relationship to the Socialist Party, the Communist Party, the American Workers Party, and other political currents. "This book is the best treatment of the best American Marxist philosopher-and the best philosopher to emerge from American slums. Young Sidney Hook is essential reading for anyone interested in democratic theory and practice in America." ---Cornel West "A very detailed, and fascinating account of Hook's formative years . . . [a] first-rate contribution to the history of American leftist intellectual life." ---Richard Rorty, Raritan "Fascinating . . . well researched and packed with information." ---Times Literary Supplement "Succeeds in establishing the young Hook as a dedicated revolutionary Marxist." ---Amos Perlmutter, Washington Times "A brilliant, lucid portrait of a scholar, adversarial by temperament, who turned his extraordinary powers of analysis and polemic successively against capitalism, Stalinism, and the New Left." ---Alan Wald, Monthly Review "The best study of Hook's thought. . . . Supersedes all earlier treatments." ---David A. Hollinger and Charles Capper, The American Intellectual Tradition "A major contribution to our understanding of Hook and the American Marxist tradition. . . . Extremely insightful." ---American Studies "Persuasive. . . . Discovers not just a brilliant interpreter of Marx and the Russian Revolution, but a remarkable advocate and practitioner of the Americanization of Marxism." ---In These Times "Phelps's effort to uncover, explore, and analyze Hook's forgotten leftism must be judged an unqualified success." ---Left History "Penetrating, closely argued, and lucid. . . . An important contribution to the history of American radicalism in the 1930s." ---Labor History One of the most controversial figures in the history of American philosophy, Sidney Hook was "an intellectual street fighter," who began his career as a brilliant Marxist thinker and "probably the greatest polemicist of [the 20th] century" (Edward Shils) before breaking with the Communist Party in the late 1930s. Turning in his later years to an allegiance with American conservatives including Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, Hook is now widely known as an intellectual father of the neoconservative movement.
Coiriel
Sidney Hook is a uniquely fascinating figure in American intellectual history. He attempted to serve as a bridge between two fundamentally different worlds that he saw as entirely compatible - American pragmatist philosophy and revolutionary Marxism. On paper, his ideas make a lot of sense - it doesn't take much of an imagination to reconcile John Dewey's instrumentalism with Marx's celebrated final thesis on Feuerbach. But as history had it, his worlds were moving rapidly apart, and the tectonic shifts of the 1930s seem to have torn apart the man who was bridging the gap. In the post-war period he would end up as a rather uninteresting pragmatist philosopher and anti-Communist crusader, who said a lot of things that look quite silly from 2012. He even voted for Nixon. But to paraphrase the famous line about Hitchens, before he was a slug he was a butterfly. Hook wrote two books on Marx that would be arguably the strongest in the American Marxist tradition: "Towards the Understanding of Karl Marx: A Revolutionary Interpretation" (1933), and "From Hegel to Marx" (1936).

Hook was a revolutionary socialist from his teenage years in Brooklyn. These politics were on a collision course with American philosophy when he studied at City College under the naturalist philosopher Morris Cohen, and went on to graduate study at Columbia with the quintessential American pragmatist, John Dewey. Hook would begin studies quite skeptical and combative of Dewey, yet come to view Dewey's pragmatism as fundamentally compatible with his radical perspective. He would eventually do everything in his power to persuade his mentor to embrace Marx. Dewey always resisted, although it is unclear to what extent he ever seriously studied Marx - he once claimed to have not read Marx, which would be incredible if true. Years later Hook did, however, convince Dewey to serve on the defense committee of Leon Trotsky, when he faced the trumped up charges of the Stalinist regime.

While studying under Dewey, Hook was immersed in Lenin, translating his volumes to English, hailing his revolutionary action while expressing qualms about his epistemology. He would come to conclude that "Marxism and pragmatism required another to realize their respective promise", a view that he sharpened in a series of contentious exchanges with Max Eastman. In addition to Lenin, having traveled to Germany and the Soviet Union, Hook was greatly influenced by Karl Korsch and Georg Lukacs, two Western Marxists who central in reconnecting Marx to the Hegelian dialectic. All the while, Hook was a fellow traveler in the Communist Party, for instance supporting William Foster's 1932 presidential campaign. But just as his Marxism was rejected by his academic colleagues (Hook would land a job at NYU), his pragmatist instrumentalism was increasingly attacked by the increasingly bureaucratic and Stalinist party, which would eventually brand him "one of the most dangerous neo-revisionists in America."

After breaking with the Communist Party, Hook was instrumental in attempts to create an independent American revolutionary socialism, first in founding the American Workers Party, with A.J. Muste, and then in orchestrating its merger with the Trotskyists, and finally with the Socialist Party. Thus, Hook and Dewey both ended up supporting the 1936 candidacy of Norman Thomas, but by completely different routes.

Of course, such unity would not last long. The strain of factional disputes, increasing Stalinist "totalitarianism", and the rise of fascism would lead Hook to retreat from political activity to philosophy, and then ultimately to his transformation in the post-war period. I still find the reasons for such a profound transformation a little puzzling, and this is the weakest element of Phelps' account. But in terms of teaching us about the Young Sidney Hook, Phelps does admirably in rescuing the early work that has been underappreciated in the American Marxist tradition.

Phelps book, in addition to Hook's primary writings, are essential to anyone interested in Marxism's relation to pragmatism, and even Marxism's relation to America more generally.
saafari
The later career of Sidney Hook is well known. However, his earlier career as a Marxist intellectual and activist has been long ignored by historians and biographers. In this short but brilliant work, Christopher Phelps shows us a completely different Hook and makes an important contribution to the literature on American socialists of the twentieth century. This book is even more crucial because Hook himself disavowed his radical past, making an examination of the complexity of his political trajectory more difficult to follow and study. From the first to the last page, this is a compelling book, providing carefully researched insights into Hook's world including Hook's debates with Max Eastman, Hook's role in the brief but important journal, Marxist Quarterly, and his participation in defending exiled Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky against bogus charges by the brutal Stalin regime. Phelps also discusses important insights about his theoretical views. At a time when utterly disorienting and nihilistic postmodernist theories are fashionable in the social sciences, Phelps' work is like a breath of fresh air that captivates his audience to learn more about history from below, by and about the workers and radical intellectuals that have shaped society. Anyone interested in the history of the 1930s American socialist movement should give this book an immediate place on their bookshelf.
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