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The 1933 Chicago World's Fair
A Century of Progress
Cheryl R. Ganz
University of Illinois Press, 2012

Chicago's 1933 world's fair set a new direction for international expositions. Earlier fairs had exhibited technological advances, but Chicago's fair organizers used the very idea of progress to buoy national optimism during the Depression's darkest years. Orchestrated by business leaders and engineers, almost all former military men, the fair reflected a business-military-engineering model that envisioned a promising future through science and technology's application to everyday life. Fair organizers, together with corporate leaders, believed that progress rides on the tide of technological innovation and consumerism.

But not all those who struggled for a voice at Chicago's 1933 exposition had abandoned the traditional notions of progress that entailed social justice and equality, recognition of ethnic and gender-related accomplishments, and personal freedom and expression. The stark pronouncement of the fair's motto, "Science Finds, Industry Applies, Man Conforms," was challenged by iconoclasts such as Sally Rand, whose provocative fan dance became a persistent symbol of the fair, as well as a handful of others, including African Americans, ethnic populations and foreign nationals, groups of working women, and even well-heeled socialites. They all met obstacles but ultimately introduced personal, social definitions of "progress" and thereby influenced the ways the fair took shape.

In this engaging social and cultural history, Cheryl R. Ganz examines Chicago's second world's fair through the lenses of technology, ethnicity, and gender. The book also features eighty-six photographs--nearly half of which are full color--of key locations, exhibits, and people, as well as authentic ticket stubs, postcards, pamphlets, posters, and other items. From fan dancers to fan belts, The 1933 Chicago World's Fair: A Century of Progress offers the compelling, untold stories of fair planners and participants who showcased education, industry, and entertainment to sell optimism during the depths of the Great Depression.

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Art in Progress
Maarten Doorman
Amsterdam University Press, 2004
In this challenging essay, Maarten Doorman argues that in art, belief in progress is still relevant, if not essential. The radical freedoms of postmodernism, he claims, have had a crippling effect on art, leaving it in danger of becoming meaningless. Art can only acquire meaning through context; the concept of progress, then, is ideal as the primary criterion for establishing that context. The history of art, in fact, can be seen as a process of constant accumulation, works of art commenting on one another and enriching one another's meanings. It is these complex interrelationships and the progress they create in both art and its observers that Doorman, in a display of great philosophical erudition, defends.
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The Assault on Progress
Technology and Time in American Literature
J. Adam Johns
University of Alabama Press, 2008
Winner of the Elizabeth Agee Prize for Best Manuscript in American Literature

A belief in progress is a fundamental ethos in American history and culture. The Assault on Progress probes American literary works that challenge the prevailing notion of technology as a manifestation of progress. J. Adam Johns argues that the idea of technology-as-destiny has long been explored—and undercut—in American literary works and that literature remains a crucial site for ongoing debates in this area.
 
Johns studies the phenomenon by which each generation comes to regard itself as the hinge upon which history turns. He explores several works by historians of technology, focusing in detail on the works of literary critic Lewis Mumford, whose examinations of Herman Melville’s novels provide an early example of critical interest in the abandonment of progress as a value.
 
He goes on to study the works of William Faulkner and Ralph Ellison, focusing on the convergence of technology and race—machines and slavery, and highlights the ways that these writers have portrayed humans as reduced to machines, evidence that technological “progress” is not always progressive, or liberating to humanity.
 
The conclusion argues for a shift in our understanding of the relationship between technology and time. According to Johns, writers like Melville, Faulkner, and Ellison help us to think of technology separate from notions of progress, and therefore help us to escape from a perilous ideological bind that forever situates humankind at the end of history.
 
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Cattle, Priests, and Progress in Medicine
Calvin W. Schwabe
University of Minnesota Press, 1978

Cattle, Priests, and Progress in Medicine was first published in 1978. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

The author shows that over the centuries many of the most significant breakthroughs in improving humans health have been closely associated with observations and experiments on animals other than man. Because human medical progress has been so dependent on veterinary studies, he urges that schools of veterinary medicine assume a much greater role in the training of persons for research in human medicine.

To illuminate the historical link between animals and man in medical progress, Professor Schwabe recounts highlights in the history of medicine from ancient times onward. He describes the early history of man in terms of animal cultures, focusing on the prehistoric Nile Valley, and points to similarities in medical knowledge between present-day "cattle" societies in Northeastern Africa and the ancient people of the Nile. He discusses the comparative healers of ancient Egypt, the comparative foundations of Greek medicine, the Arabic contribution, Sicily and the beginnings of modern medicine, and subsequent developments through the Renaissance .Bringing the history down to modern times, Professor Schwabe emphasizes the role of veterinary medicine in medical research. He outlines specific reforms in the curricula of schools and colleges of veterinary medicine which would provide for the education of medical investigators.
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City on Fire
Technology, Social Change, and the Hazards of Progress in Mexico City, 1860-1910
Anna Rose Alexander
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2016
By the mid-nineteenth century, efforts to modernize and industrialize Mexico City had the unintended consequence of exponentially increasing the risk of fire while also breeding a culture of fear. Through an array of archival sources, Anna Rose Alexander argues that fire became a catalyst for social change, as residents mobilized to confront the problem. Advances in engineering and medicine soon fostered the rise of distinct fields of fire-related expertise while conversely, the rise of fire-profiteering industries allowed entrepreneurs to capitalize on crisis.
 
City on Fire demonstrates that both public and private engagements with fire risk highlight the inequalities that characterized Mexican society at the turn of the twentieth century.
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The Coming of the King James Gospels
A Collection of the Translators’ Work-in-Progress
Ward S. Allen
University of Arkansas Press, 1994

The Coming of the King James Gospels is a primary publication exploring the handwritten annotations of the Oxford New Testament Company, made as members completed Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Their original edited pages, gathered into one binding as the Bodleian Bishops’ Bible ([1602] b.1), offer us the only known surviving record of their monumental work.

Ward Allen’s painstakingly produced collation of this Bishops’ Bible is available for the first time in acessible visual layout. It allows a reader to study simultaneously the three texts, that of the original Bishops’ Bible, the revisions suggested for the 1602 text, and the final King James version of the Gospels. Rejected readings reveal the reasoning which led to the wording of the final text. Beautifully produced, The Coming of the King James Gospels is now a prime resource for all students of the Bible and the English language.

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Community and Progress in Kant's Moral Philosophy
Kate A. Moran
Catholic University of America Press, 2012
The text draws on a wide range of Immanuel Kant's writings, including his texts on moral and political philosophy and his lectures on ethics, pedagogy, and anthropology. Though the book is grounded in an analysis of Kant's writing, it also puts forward the novel claim that Kant's theory is centrally concerned with the relationships we have in our day-to-day lives.
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Cruel Optimism
Lauren Berlant
Duke University Press, 2011
A relation of cruel optimism exists when something you desire is actually an obstacle to your flourishing. Offering bold new ways of conceiving the present, Lauren Berlant describes the cruel optimism that has prevailed since the 1980s, as the social-democratic promise of the postwar period in the United States and Europe has retracted. People have remained attached to unachievable fantasies of the good life—with its promises of upward mobility, job security, political and social equality, and durable intimacy—despite evidence that liberal-capitalist societies can no longer be counted on to provide opportunities for individuals to make their lives “add up to something.”

Arguing that the historical present is perceived affectively before it is understood in any other way, Berlant traces affective and aesthetic responses to the dramas of adjustment that unfold amid talk of precarity, contingency, and crisis. She suggests that our stretched-out present is characterized by new modes of temporality, and she explains why trauma theory—with its focus on reactions to the exceptional event that shatters the ordinary—is not useful for understanding the ways that people adjust over time, once crisis itself has become ordinary. Cruel Optimism is a remarkable affective history of the present.

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Entitled to the Pedestal
Place, Race, and Progress in White Southern Women's Writing,1920-1945
Nghana tamu Lewis
University of Iowa Press, 2007

In this searching study, Nghana Lewis offers a close reading of the works and private correspondences, essays, and lectures of five southern white women writers: Julia Peterkin, Gwen Bristow, Caroline Gordon, Willa Cather, and Lillian Smith. At the core of this work is a sophisticated reexamination of the myth of southern white womanhood.

Lewis overturns the conventional argument that white women were passive and pedestal-bound. Instead, she argues that these figures were complicit in the day-to-day dynamics of power and authorship and stood to gain much from these arrangements at the expense of others.

At the same time that her examination of southern mythology explodes received wisdom, it is also a journey of self-discovery. As Lewis writes in her preface, “As a proud daughter of the South, I have always been acutely aware of the region’s rich cultural heritage, folks, and foodstuffs. How could I not be? I was born and reared in Lafayette, Louisiana, where an infant’s first words are not ‘da-da’ and ‘ma-ma’ but ‘crawfish boil’ and ‘fais-do-do.’ . . . I have also always been keenly familiar with its volatile history.” Where these conflicting images—and specifically the role of white southern women as catalysts, vindicators, abettors, and antagonists—meet forms the crux of this study. As such, this study of the South by a daughter of the South offers a distinctive perspective that illuminates the texts in novel and provocative ways.

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Frontiers Of Illusion
Science, Technology, and the Politics of Progress
Daniel Sarewitz
Temple University Press, 1996

For the past fifty years, science and technology—supported with billions of dollars from the U.S. government—have advanced at a rate that would once have seemed miraculous, while society's problems have grown more intractable, complex, and diverse. Yet scientists and politicians alike continue to prescribe more science and more technology to cure such afflictions as global climate change, natural resource depletion, overpopulation, inadequate health care, weapons proliferation, and economic inequality.

Daniel Sarewitz scrutinizes the fundamental myths that have guided the formulation of science policy for half a century—myths that serve the professional and political interests of the scientific community, but often fail to advance the interests of society as a whole. His analysis ultimately demonstrates that stronger linkages between progress in science and progress in society will require research agendas that emerge not from the intellectual momentum of science, but from the needs and goals of society.

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Gendered Paradoxes
Educating Jordanian Women in Nation, Faith, and Progress
Fida Adely
University of Chicago Press, 2012
In 2005 the World Bank released a gender assessment of the nation of Jordan, a country that, like many in the Middle East, has undergone dramatic social and gender transformations, in part by encouraging equal access to education for men and women. The resulting demographic picture there—highly educated women who still largely stay at home as mothers and caregivers— prompted the World Bank to label Jordan a “gender paradox.” In Gendered Paradoxes, Fida J. Adely shows that assessment to be a fallacy, taking readers into the rarely seen halls of a Jordanian public school—the al-Khatwa High School for Girls—and revealing the dynamic lives of its students, for whom such trends are far from paradoxical.
 
Through the lives of these students, Adely explores the critical issues young people in Jordan grapple with today: nationalism and national identity, faith and the requisites of pious living, appropriate and respectable gender roles, and progress. In the process she shows the important place of education in Jordan, one less tied to the economic ends of labor and employment that are so emphasized by the rest of the developed world. In showcasing alternative values and the highly capable young women who hold them, Adely raises fundamental questions about what constitutes development, progress, and empowerment—not just for Jordanians, but for the whole world.
 
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A Global Enlightenment
Western Progress and Chinese Science
Alexander Statman
University of Chicago Press, 2023
A revisionist history of the idea of progress reveals an unknown story about European engagement with Chinese science.
 
The Enlightenment gave rise not only to new ideas of progress but consequential debates about them. Did distant times and places have anything to teach the here and now? Voltaire could believe that they did; Hegel was convinced that they did not. Early philosophes praised Chinese philosophy as an enduring model of reason. Later philosophes rejected it as stuck in the past. Seeking to vindicate ancient knowledge, a group of French statesmen and savants began a conversation with the last great scholar of the Jesuit mission to China. Together, they drew from Chinese learning to challenge the emerging concept of Western advancement.
 
A Global Enlightenment traces this overlooked exchange between China and the West to make compelling claims about the history of progress, notions of European exceptionalism, and European engagement with Chinese science. To tell this story, Alexander Statman focuses on a group of thinkers he terms “orphans of the Enlightenment,” intellectuals who embraced many of their contemporaries’ ideals but valued ancient wisdom. They studied astronomical records, gas balloons, electrical machines, yin-yang cosmology, animal magnetism, and Daoist medicine. And their inquiries helped establish a new approach to the global history of science.

Rich with new archival research and fascinating anecdotes, A Global Enlightenment deconstructs two common assumptions about the early to late modern period. Though historians have held that the idea of a mysterious and inscrutable East was inherent in Enlightenment progress theory, Statman argues that it was the orphans of the Enlightenment who put it there: by identifying China as a source of ancient wisdom, they turned it into a foil for scientific development. But while historical consensus supposes that non-Western ideas were banished from European thought over the course of the Enlightenment, Statman finds that Europeans became more interested in Chinese science—as a precursor, then as an antithesis, and finally as an alternative to modernity.
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Home without Walls
Southern Baptist Women and Social Reform in the Progressive Era
Carol Crawford Holcomb
University of Alabama Press, 2020
A critical examination of the Woman’s Missionary Union and how it shaped the views of Southern Baptist women
 
The Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU), founded in 1888, carved out a uniquely feminine space within the Southern Baptist Convention during the tumultuous years of the Progressive Era when American theologians were formulating the social gospel. These women represented the Southern Baptist elite and as such had the time to read, write, and discuss ideas with other Southern progressives. They rubbed shoulders with more progressive Methodist and Presbyterian women in clubs and ecumenical missionary meetings. Baptist women studied the missionary publications of these other denominations and adopted ideas for a Southern Baptist audience.

Home without Walls: Southern Baptist Women and Social Reform in the Progressive Era shows how the social attitudes of women were shaped at the time. By studying primary documents—including personal letters, official exchanges and memoranda, magazine publications, newsletters, and editorials—Carol Crawford Holcomb uncovers ample evidence that WMU leaders, aware of the social gospel and sympathetic to social reform, appropriated the tools of social work and social service to carry out their missionary work.

Southern Baptist women united to build a financial empire that would sustain the Southern Baptists through the Great Depression and beyond. Their social attitudes represented a kaleidoscope of contrasting opinions. By no stretch of the imagination could WMU leaders be characterized as liberal social gospel advocates. However, it would also be wrong to depict them as uniformly hostile to progressivism or ignorant of contemporary theological ideas. In the end, they were practical feminists in their determination to provide a platform for women’s views and a space for women to do meaningful work.
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Hope Draped in Black
Race, Melancholy, and the Agony of Progress
Joseph R. Winters
Duke University Press, 2016
In Hope Draped in Black Joseph R. Winters responds to the enduring belief that America follows a constant trajectory of racial progress. Such notions—like those that suggested the passage into a postracial era following Barack Obama's election—gloss over the history of racial violence and oppression to create an imaginary and self-congratulatory world where painful memories are conveniently forgotten. In place of these narratives, Winters advocates for an idea of hope that is predicated on a continuous engagement with loss and melancholy. Signaling a heightened sensitivity to the suffering of others, melancholy disconcerts us and allows us to cut against dominant narratives and identities. Winters identifies a black literary and aesthetic tradition in the work of intellectuals, writers, and artists such as W. E. B. Du Bois, Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison, and Charles Burnett that often underscores melancholy, remembrance, loss, and tragedy in ways that gesture toward such a conception of hope. Winters also draws on Walter Benjamin and Theodor Adorno to highlight how remembering and mourning the uncomfortable dimensions of American social life can provide alternate sources for hope and imagination that might lead to building a better world.
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Is Progress Speeding Up
Multiplying Multitudes Of Blessings
John Marks Templeton
Templeton Press, 1998

This book is a thought-provoking view of the progress of humankind in the last century. In spite of the pessimism that prevails in the media, people are better fed, better clothed, better housed, and better educated than at any previous time.

The facts within the book provide documentation for a positive outlook toward our nutrition and health, living standards and working conditions, political and economic freedoms, educational facilities, ability to communicate, ease of movement, increasing leisure, and, most important, our ability to get along with one another and with our Creator. The statistics, charts, and photographs that illustrate this book enhance the reassuring and uplifting view of the state of the world and where it is going.

“His analysis gives us a refreshing balance to the negative, sometimes cynical, views in the media that tend to portray the worst rather than the best in human civilization.” —Jimmy Carter

“After reading Sir John Templeton's latest book, I believe more than ever that we are living in the most exciting time in history. Despite the challenges we face, his demonstration of mankind's progress gives all of us great hopes and high expectations for our next century and the new millennium.” —Jack Kemp, former HUD secretary, director of Empower America

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The Islamic School of Law
Evolution, Devolution, and Progress
Peri Bearman
Harvard University Press, 2005
The Islamic school of law, or madhhab, is a concept on which a substantial amount has been written but of which there is still little understanding, and even less consensus. This collection of selected papers from the III International Conference on Islamic Legal Studies, held in May 2000 at the Harvard Law School, offers building blocks toward the entire edifice of understanding the complex development of the madhhab, a development that even in the contemporary dissolution of madhhab lines and grouping continues to fascinate. As scholars look to the construction of a new Islamic legal history, these essays inform on the background to madhhab formation, on inter-madhhab polemics and the drive toward legal authority, on madhhab perpetuation and anti-madhhab tendencies, on the constitutional role of the madhhab, on the madhhab's legislative and adjudicative mechanisms, and on the significance of the madhhab in comparative terms. This volume is of value to anyone interested in the nature of Islamic law.
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Las Vegas in Singapore
Violence, Progress and the Crisis of Nationalist Modernity
Lee Kah-Wee
National University of Singapore Press, 2018
Las Vegas in Singapore looks at the collision of the histories of Singapore and Las Vegas in the form of Marina Bay Sands, one of Singapore’s two integrated resorts.

The first history begins in colonial Singapore in the 1880s, when British administrators revised gambling laws in response to the political threat posed by Chinese-run gambling syndicates. Following the tracks of these punitive laws and practices, the book moves into the 1960s when the newly independent city-state created a national lottery while criminalizing both organized and petty gambling in the name of nation-building. The second history shifts the focus to corporate Las Vegas in the 1950s when digital technology and corporate management practices found each other on the casino floor. Tracing the emergence of the specialist casino designer, the book reveals how casino development evolved into a highly rationalized spatial template designed to maximize profits. Today an iconic landmark of Singapore, Marina Bay Sands is also an artifact of these two histories, an attempt by Singapore to normalize what was once criminalized in its nationalist history.

Lee Kah-Wee argues that the historical project of the control of vice is also about the control of space and capital. The result is an uneven landscape where the legal and moral status of gambling is contingent on where it is located. As the current wave of casino expansion spreads across Asia, he warns that these developments should not be seen as liberalization but instead as a continuation of the project of concentrating power by modern states and corporations.
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Leave Me Alone and I'll Make You Rich
How the Bourgeois Deal Enriched the World
Deirdre Nansen McCloskey and Art Carden
University of Chicago Press, 2020
The economist and historian Deirdre Nansen McCloskey has been best known recently for her Bourgeois Era trilogy, a vigorous defense, unrivaled in scope, of commercially tested betterment.  Its massive volumes, The Bourgeois Virtues, Bourgeois Dignity, and Bourgeois Equality, solve Adam Smith’s puzzle of the nature and causes of the wealth of nations, and of the moral sentiments of modernity.   The world got rich, she argues, not chiefly by material causes but by an idea and a sentiment, a new admiration for the middle class and its egalitarian liberalism.  

For readers looking for a distillation of McCloskey’s magisterial work, Leave Me Alone and I’ll Make You Rich is what you’ve been waiting for. In this lively volume, McCloskey and the economist and journalist Carden bring together the trilogy’s key ideas and its most provocative arguments. The rise of the west, and now the rest, is the story of the rise of ordinary people to a dignity and liberty inspiring them to have a go. The outcome was an explosion of innovation after 1800, and a rise of real income by an astounding 3,000 percent.  The Great Enrichment, well beyond the conventional Industrial Revolution, did not, McCloskey and Carden show, come from the usual suspects, capital accumulation or class struggle.  It came from the idea of economic liberty in Holland and the Anglosphere, then Sweden and Japan, then Italy and  Israel and China and India, an idea that bids fair in the next few generations to raise up the wretched of the earth.  The original shift to liberalism arose from 1517 to 1789 from theological and political revolutions in northwest Europe, upending ancient hierarchies.  McCloskey and Carden contend further that liberalism and “innovism” made us better humans as well as richer ones.  Not matter but ideas.  Not corruption but improvement.

Leave Me Alone and I’ll Make You Rich draws in entertaining fashion on history, economics, literature, philosophy, and popular culture, from growth theory to the Simpsons. It is the perfect introduction for a broad audience to McCloskey’s influential explanation of how we got rich.  At a time when confidence in the economic system is under challenge, the book mounts an optimistic and persuasive defense of liberal innovism, and of the modern world it has wrought.
 
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Love, Order, and Progress
The Science, Philosophy, and Politics of Auguste Comte
Michel Bourdeau, Mary Pickering, and Warren Schmaus
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018
Auguste Comte's doctrine of positivism was both a philosophy of science and a political philosophy designed to organize a new, secular, stable society based on positive or scientific, ideas, rather than the theological dogmas and metaphysical speculations associated with the ancien regime. This volume offers the most comprehensive English-language overview of Auguste Comte's philosophy, the relation of his work to the sciences of his day, and the extensive, continuing impact of his thinking on philosophy and especially secular political movements in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. Contributors consider Comte’s reasons for establishing a Religion of Humanity as well as his views on domestic life and the arts in his positivist utopia. The volume further details Comte's attempt to apply his "positive method," first to social science and then to politics and morality, thereby defending the continuity of his career while also critically examining the limits of his approach.
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Measuring Economic Sustainability and Progress
Edited by Dale W. Jorgenson, J. Steven Landefeld, and Paul Schreyer
University of Chicago Press, 2014
Since the Great Depression, researchers and statisticians have recognized the need for more extensive methods for measuring economic growth and sustainability. The recent recession renewed commitments to closing long-standing gaps in economic measurement, including those related to sustainability and well-being.

The latest in the NBER’s influential Studies in Income and Wealth series, which has played a key role in the development of national account statistics in the United States and other nations, this volume explores collaborative solutions between academics, policy researchers, and official statisticians to some of today’s most important economic measurement challenges. Contributors to this volume extend past research on the integration and extension of national accounts to establish an even more comprehensive understanding of the distribution of economic growth and its impact on well-being, including health, human capital, and the environment. The research contributions assess, among other topics, specific conceptual and empirical proposals for extending national accounts.
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The Mirage of Health
Utopia, Progress, and Biological Change
Dubos, Jean
Rutgers University Press, 1987
'Complete freedom from disease and from struggle is almost incompatible with the process of living, ' Rene Dubos asserted in this classic essay on ecology and health. All the accomplishments of science and technology, he argued, will not bring the utopian dream of universal well-being, because they ignore the dynamic process of adaptation to a constantly changing environment that every living organism must face.
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The Mismeasure of Progress
Economic Growth and Its Critics
Stephen J. Macekura
University of Chicago Press, 2020
Few ideas in the past century have had wider financial, political, and governmental impact than that of economic growth. The common belief that endless economic growth, as measured by Gross Domestic Product, is not only possible but actually essential for the flourishing of civilization remains a powerful policy goal and aspiration for many. In The Mismeasure of Progress, Stephen J. Macekura exposes a historical road not taken, illuminating the stories of the activists, intellectuals, and other leaders who long argued that GDP growth was not all it was cracked up to be.

Beginning with the rise of the growth paradigm in the 1940s and 1950s and continuing through the present day, The Mismeasure of Progress is the first book on the myriad thinkers who argued against growth and the conventional way progress had been measured and defined. For growth critics, questioning the meaning and measurement of growth was a necessary first step to creating a more just, equal, and sustainable world. These critics argued that focusing on growth alone would not resolve social, political, and environmental problems, and they put forth alternate methods for defining and measuring human progress.

​In today’s global political scene—marked by vast inequalities of power and wealth and made even more fraught by a global climate emergency—the ideas presented by these earlier critics of growth resonate more loudly than ever. Economic growth appealed to many political leaders because it allowed them to avoid addressing political trade-offs and class conflict. It sustained the fiction that humans are somehow separate from nonhuman “nature,” ignoring the intimate and dense connections between the two. In order to create a truly just and equitable society, Macekura argues, we need a clear understanding of our collective needs beyond growth and more holistic definitions of progress that transcend economic metrics like GDP.
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Modernity and Progress
Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Orwell
Ronald Berman
University of Alabama Press, 2007
Breaks new critical ground by exploring philosophical and aesthetic issues germane to the writings of three major modern literary figures.


In the 1920s and ‘30s, understandings of time, place, and civilization were subjected to a barrage of new conceptions. Ronald Berman probes the work of three writers who wrestled with one or more of these issues in ways of lasting significance.

Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Orwell all grappled with fluid notions of time: Hemingway’s absolute present, Fitzgerald’s obsession with what might be and what might have been, and Orwell’s concerns with progress. For these authors, progress is also tied to competing senses of place--for Fitzgerald, the North versus the South; for Hemingway, America versus Europe. At stake for each is an understanding of what constitutes true civilization in a post-war world. Berman discusses Hemingway’s deployment of language in tackling the problems of thinking and knowing. Berman follows this notion further in examining the indisputable impact upon Hemingway’s prose of Paul Cézanne’s painting and the nature of perception.

Finally, Berman considers the influence on Orwell of Aristotle and Freud’s ideas of civilization, translated by Orwell into the fabric of 1984 and other writings.

Ronald Berman is Professor of English at the University of California at San Diego and past chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is author of six books, including “The Great Gatsby” and Fitzgerald’s World of Ideas and Fitzgerald-Wilson-Hemingway: Language and Experience.

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Monad to Man
The Concept of Progress in Evolutionary Biology
Michael Ruse
Harvard University Press, 1996

The idea of evolution: it fascinates some of us, disturbs others, and leaves only a very few people indifferent. In a major new interpretation of evolutionary theory, Michael Ruse pinpoints the common source of this attraction and discomfort. A renowned writer on evolutionary theory and its history, Ruse has long been sensitive to the fact that many people--and not simply religious enthusiasts--find something deeply troubling about much of what passes for science in evolutionary circles. What causes this tension, he finds in his search of evolutionism's 250-year history, is the intimate relationship between evolution and the secular ideology of progress.

Ubiquitous in Darwin's time, the idea of an unceasing improvement in life insinuated its way into evolutionary theory from the first. In interviews with today's major figures in evolutionary biology--including Stephen Jay Gould, Edward O. Wilson, Ernst Mayr, and John Maynard Smith--and in an intimate look at the discoveries and advances in the history and philosophy of science, Ruse finds this belief just as prevalent today--however it might be denied or obscured. His book traces the delicate line between those who argue that science is and must be objective and those who deem science a "social construction" in the fashion of religion or the rest of culture. It offers an unparalleled account of evolutionary theory, from popular books to museums to the most complex theorizing, at a time when its status as science is under greater scrutiny than ever before.

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The Myth of Progress
Toward a Sustainable Future
Tom Wessels
Brandeis University Press, 2023
A powerful argument that our current path toward progress, based on continual economic expansion and inefficient use of resources, runs contrary to three foundational scientific laws.
 
In this compelling, cogently argued, and acclaimed book, Tom Wessels demonstrates how our current path toward progress, based on continual economic expansion and inefficient use of resources, runs contrary to three foundational scientific laws that govern all complex natural systems. It is a myth, he contends, that progress depends on a growing economy. Wessels explains his theory with his three laws of sustainability: the law of limits to growth; the second law of thermodynamics, which exposes the dangers of increased energy consumption; and the law of self-organization, which results in the marvelous diversity of such highly evolved systems as the human body and complex ecosystems. Wessels argues that these laws, scientifically proven to sustain life in its myriad forms, have been cast aside since the eighteenth century, first by Western economists, political pragmatists, and governments attracted by the idea of unlimited growth, and more recently by a global economy dominated by large corporations, in which consolidation and oversimplification have created large-scale inefficiencies in both material and energy usage.
 
Wessels makes scientific theory readily accessible by offering examples of how the laws of sustainability function in the complex systems we can observe in the natural world around us. Demonstrating that all environmental problems have their source in a disregard for the laws of sustainability, he concludes with an impassioned argument for cultural change. This new edition has a new preface wherein the author regards The Myth of Progress as his most important work. It has been in constant demand since it was first published in 2006.
 
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The Myth of Progress
Toward a Sustainable Future
Tom Wessels
University Press of New England, 2013
In this compelling and cogently argued book, Tom Wessels demonstrates how our current path toward progress, based on continual economic expansion and inefficient use of resources, runs absolutely contrary to three foundational scientific laws that govern all complex natural systems. It is a myth, he contends, that progress depends on a growing economy. Wessels explains his theory with his three laws of sustainability: (1) the law of limits to growth, (2) the second law of thermodynamics, which exposes the dangers of increased energy consumption, and (3) the law of self-organization, which results in the marvelous diversity of such highly evolved systems as the human body and complex ecosystems. These laws, scientifically proven to sustain life in its myriad forms, have been cast aside since the eighteenth century, first by Western economists, political pragmatists, and governments attracted by the idea of unlimited growth, and more recently by a global economy dominated by large corporations, in which consolidation and oversimplification create large-scale inefficiencies in both material and energy usage. Wessels makes scientific theory readily accessible by offering examples of how the laws of sustainability function in the complex systems we can observe in the natural world around us. He shows how systems such as forests can be templates for developing sustainable economic practices that will allow true progress. Demonstrating that all environmental problems have their source in a disregard for the laws of sustainability that is based on the myth of progress, he concludes with an impassioned argument for cultural change.
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Nevada's Environmental Legacy
Progress or Plunder
James W. Hulse
University of Nevada Press, 2009

Nevada's relatively brief history (it became a state in 1864) has been largely a story of the exploitation of its natural resources. Mining has torn down mountains and poisoned streams and groundwater. Uncontrolled grazing by vast herds of sheep and cattle has denuded grasslands and left them prey to the invasion of noxious plant species and vulnerable to wildfire. Clear-cut logging practices have changed the composition of forests and induced serious soil erosion. More recently, military testing, including hundreds of atomic blasts to determine the efficacy of nuclear weapons, has irreversibly polluted expanses of fragile desert landscape. And rampant development throughout the state over the past four decades, along with the public's growing demand for recreational facilities, has placed intolerable demands on the arid state's limited water resources and threatened the survival of numerous rare plant and animal species. Veteran historian and Nevada native James W. Hulse considers the state's complex environmental history as a series of Faustian bargains between the state's need for economic development and the industries, government agencies, and individuals that have exploited Nevada's natural resources with little concern for the long-term consequences of their activities. His survey covers all these issues, and examines public attitudes about the environment and the role of federal and state agencies in creating, interpreting, and enforcing environmental policies.

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A Nice Derangement of Epistemes
Post-positivism in the Study of Science from Quine to Latour
John H. Zammito
University of Chicago Press, 2004
Since the 1950s, many philosophers of science have attacked positivism—the theory that scientific knowledge is grounded in objective reality. Reconstructing the history of these critiques, John H. Zammito argues that while so-called postpositivist theories of science are very often invoked, they actually provide little support for fashionable postmodern approaches to science studies.

Zammito shows how problems that Quine and Kuhn saw in the philosophy of the natural sciences inspired a turn to the philosophy of language for resolution. This linguistic turn led to claims that science needs to be situated in both historical and social contexts, but the claims of recent "science studies" only deepened the philosophical quandary. In essence, Zammito argues that none of the problems with positivism provides the slightest justification for denigrating empirical inquiry and scientific practice, delivering quite a blow to the "discipline" postmodern science studies.

Filling a gap in scholarship to date, A Nice Derangement of Epistemes will appeal to historians, philosophers, philosophers of science, and the broader scientific community.
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The Other Bostonians
Poverty and Progress in the American Metropolis, 1880-1970
Stephan Thernstrom
Harvard University Press, 1973

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The Paradox of Progress
Economic Change, Individual Enterprise, and Politic Culture in Michigan, 1837-1878
Martin J. Hershock
Ohio University Press, 2003
Americans have long recognized the central importance of the nineteenth-century Republican party in preserving the Union, ending slavery, and opening the way for industrial capitalism. On the surface, the story seems straightforward -- the party's “free labor” ethos, embracing the opportunity that free soil presented for social and economic mobility, and condemning the danger that slavery in the territories posed for that mobility, foreshadowed the GOP's later devotion to unfettered enterprise and industrial capitalism. In reality, however, the narrative thread is not so linear. This work examines the contradiction that lay at the heart of the supremely influential ideology of the early Republican party. The Paradox of Progress explores one of the most profound changes in American history -- the transition from the anti-market, anti-monopoly, and democratic ideology of Jacksonian America to the business-dominated politics and unregulated excesses of Gilded Age capitalism.

Guiding this transformation was the nineteenth-century Republican party. Drawing heavily from both the pro-market commitments of the early Whig party and the anti-capitalist culture of Jackson's Democratic party, the early Republican party found itself torn between these competing values. Nowhere was this contested process more obvious or more absorbing than in Civil War-era Michigan, the birthplace of the Republican party.

In The Paradox of Progress, a fascinating look at the central factors underlying the history of the GOP, Martin Hershock reveals how in their determination to resolve their ideological dilemma, Republicans of the Civil War era struggled to contrive a formula that wo uld enable them to win popular elections and to model America's acceptance of Gilded Age capitalism.
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Parents Without Papers
The Progress and Pitfalls of Mexican American Integration
Frank D. Bean is Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for Research on International Migration at the University of California, Irvine. Susan K. Brown is associate professor of sociology at the University of California, Irvine. James D. Bachmeier is assistant professor of sociology at Temple University.
Russell Sage Foundation, 2015
For several decades, Mexican immigrants in the United States have outnumbered those from any other country. Though the economy increasingly needs their labor, many remain unauthorized. In Parents Without Papers, immigration scholars Frank D. Bean, Susan K. Brown, and James D. Bachmeier document the extent to which the outsider status of these newcomers inflicts multiple hardships on their children and grandchildren.

Parents Without Papers provides both a general conceptualization of immigrant integration and an in-depth examination of the Mexican American case. The authors draw upon unique retrospective data to shed light on three generations of integration. They show in particular that the “membership exclusion” experienced by unauthorized Mexican immigrants—that is, their fear of deportation, lack of civil rights, and poor access to good jobs—hinders the education of their children, even those who are U.S.-born. Moreover, they find that children are hampered not by the unauthorized entry of parents itself but rather by the long-term inability of parents, especially mothers, to acquire green cards.

When unauthorized parents attain legal status, the disadvantages of the second generation begin to disappear. These second-generation men and women achieve schooling on par with those whose parents come legally. By the third generation, socioeconomic levels for women equal or surpass those of native white women. But men reach parity only through greater labor-force participation and longer working hours, results consistent with the idea that their integration is delayed by working-class imperatives to support their families rather than attend college.

An innovative analysis of the transmission of advantage and disadvantage among Mexican Americans, Parents Without Papers presents a powerful case for immigration policy reforms that provide not only realistic levels of legal less-skilled migration but also attainable pathways to legalization. Such measures, combined with affordable access to college, are more important than ever for the integration of vulnerable Mexican immigrants and their descendants.
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Peace Operations
Trends, Progress, and Prospects
Donald C. F. Daniel, Patricia Taft, and Sharon Wiharta, Editors
Georgetown University Press, 2008

Trends in the number and scope of peace operations since 2000 evidence heightened international appreciation for their value in crisis-response and regional stabilization. Peace Operations: Trends, Progress, and Prospects addresses national and institutional capacities to undertake such operations, by going beyond what is available in previously published literature.

Part one focuses on developments across regions and countries. It builds on data- gathering projects undertaken at Georgetown University's Center for Peace and Security Studies (CPASS), the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), and the Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA) that offer new information about national contributions to operations and about the organizations through which they make those contributions. The information provides the bases for arriving at unique insights about the characteristics of contributors and about the division of labor between the United Nations and other international entities.

Part two looks to trends and prospects within regions and nations. Unlike other studies that focus only on regions with well-established track records—specifically Europe and Africa—this book also looks to the other major areas of the world and poses two questions concerning them: If little or nothing has been done institutionally in a region, why not? What should be expected?

This groundbreaking volume will help policymakers and academics understand better the regional and national factors shaping the prospects for peace operations into the next decade.

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Pictures and Progress
Early Photography and the Making of African American Identity
Maurice O. Wallace and Shawn Michelle Smith, eds.
Duke University Press, 2012
Pictures and Progress explores how, during the nineteenth century and the early twentieth, prominent African American intellectuals and activists understood photography's power to shape perceptions about race and employed the new medium in their quest for social and political justice. They sought both to counter widely circulating racist imagery and to use self-representation as a means of empowerment. In this collection of essays, scholars from various disciplines consider figures including Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and W. E. B. Du Bois as important and innovative theorists and practitioners of photography. In addition, brief interpretive essays, or "snapshots," highlight and analyze the work of four early African American photographers. Featuring more than seventy images, Pictures and Progress brings to light the wide-ranging practices of early African American photography, as well as the effects of photography on racialized thinking.

Contributors. Michael A. Chaney, Cheryl Finley, P. Gabrielle Foreman, Ginger Hill, Leigh Raiford, Augusta Rohrbach, Ray Sapirstein, Suzanne N. Schneider, Shawn Michelle Smith, Laura Wexler, Maurice O. Wallace

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The Pinochet Case
Origins, Progress and Implications
Edited by Madeleine Davis
University of London Press, 2003

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Poverty and Progress
Social Mobility in a Nineteenth Century City
Stephan Thernstrom
Harvard University Press, 1964

Embedded in the consciousness of Americans throughout much of the country’s history has been the American Dream: that every citizen, no matter how humble his beginnings, is free to climb to the top of the social and economic ladder. Poverty and Progress assesses the claims of the American Dream against the actual structure of economic and social opportunities in a typical nineteenth century industrial community—Newburyport, Massachusetts.

Here is local history. With the aid of newspapers, census reports, and local tax, school, and savings bank records Stephan Thernstrom constructs a detailed and vivid portrait of working class life in Newburyport from 1850 to 1880, the critical years in which this old New England town was transformed into a booming industrial city. To determine how many self-made men there really were in the community, he traces the career patterns of hundreds of obscure laborers and their sons over this thirty year period, exploring in depth the differing mobility patterns of native-born and Irish immigrant workmen. Out of this analysis emerges the conclusion that opportunities for occupational mobility were distinctly limited. Common laborers and their sons were rarely able to attain middle class status, although many rose from unskilled to semiskilled or skilled occupations.

But another kind of mobility was widespread. Men who remained in lowly laboring jobs were often strikingly successful in accumulating savings and purchasing homes and a plot of land. As a result, the working class was more easily integrated into the community; a new basis for social stability was produced which offset the disruptive influences that accompanied the first shock of urbanization and industrialization.

Since Newburyport underwent changes common to other American cities, Thernstrom argues, his findings help to illuminate the social history of nineteenth century America and provide a new point of departure for gauging mobility trends in our society today. Correlating the Newburyport evidence with comparable studies of twentieth century cities, he refutes the popular belief that it is now more difficult to rise from the bottom of the social ladder than it was in the idyllic past. The “blocked mobility” theory was proposed by Lloyd Warner in his famous “Yankee City” studies of Newburyport; Thernstrom provides a thorough critique of the “Yankee City” volumes and of the ahistorical style of social research which they embody.

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The Pricing of Progress
Economic Indicators and the Capitalization of American Life
Eli Cook
Harvard University Press, 2017

How did Americans come to quantify their society’s progress and well-being in units of money? In today’s GDP-run world, prices are the standard measure of not only our goods and commodities but our environment, our communities, our nation, even our self-worth. The Pricing of Progress traces the long history of how and why we moderns adopted the monetizing values and valuations of capitalism as an indicator of human prosperity while losing sight of earlier social and moral metrics that did not put a price on everyday life.

Eli Cook roots the rise of economic indicators in the emergence of modern capitalism and the contested history of English enclosure, Caribbean slavery, American industrialization, economic thought, and corporate power. He explores how the maximization of market production became the chief objective of American economic and social policy. We see how distinctly capitalist quantification techniques used to manage or invest in railroad corporations, textile factories, real estate holdings, or cotton plantations escaped the confines of the business world and seeped into every nook and cranny of society. As economic elites quantified the nation as a for-profit, capitalized investment, the progress of its inhabitants, free or enslaved, came to be valued according to their moneymaking abilities.

Today as in the nineteenth century, political struggles rage over who gets to determine the statistical yardsticks used to gauge the “health” of our economy and nation. The Pricing of Progress helps us grasp the limits and dangers of entrusting economic indicators to measure social welfare and moral goals.

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Progress and Pessimism
Religion, Politics, and History in Late Nineteenth Century Britain
Jeffrey Paul von Arx
Harvard University Press, 1985

Faith in progress is a characteristic we often associate with the Victorian era. Victorian intellectuals and free-thinkers who believed in progress and wrote history from a progressive point of view—men such as Leslie Stephen, John Morley, W. E. H. Lecky, and James Anthony Froude—are usually thought to have done so because they were optimistic about their own times. Their optimism has been seen as the result of a successful Liberal campaign for political reform in the sixties and seventies, carried out in alliance with religious dissenters—a campaign that removed religion from the arena of public debate.

Jeffrey Paul von Arx challenges this long-standing view of the Victorian intellectual aristocracy. He sees them as preoccupied with and even fearful of a religious resurgence throughout their careers, and demonstrates that their loss of confidence in contemporary liberalism began with their disillusionment over the effects of the Franchise Reform Act of 1867. He portrays their championing of the idea of progress as motivated not by optimism about the present, but by their desire to explain away and reverse if possible contemporary religious and political trends, such as the new mass politics in England and Ireland.

This is the first book to explore how pessimism could be the psychological basis for the Victorians’ progressive conception of history. Throughout, von Arx skillfully interweaves threads of religion, politics, and history, showing how ideas in one sphere cannot be understood without reference to the others.

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Progress and Religion
An Historical Inquiry (The Works of Christopher Dawson)
Christopher Dawson
Catholic University of America Press, 2001
Progress and Religion was perhaps the most influential of all Christopher Dawson's books, establishing him as an interpreter of history and a historian of ideas.
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The Progress of Romance
Literary Historiography and the Gothic Novel
David H. Richter
The Ohio State University Press, 1900

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A Progress of Sentiments
Reflections on Hume’s Treatise
Annette C. Baier
Harvard University Press, 1991
Annette Baier’s aim is to make sense of David Hume’s Treatise as a whole. Hume’s family motto, which appears on his bookplate, was “True to the End.” Baier argues that it is not until the end of the Treatise that we get his full story about “truth and falsehood, reason and folly.” By the end, we can see the cause to which Hume has been true throughout the work.Baier finds Hume’s Treatise on Human Nature to be a carefully crafted literary and philosophical work which itself displays a philosophical progress of sentiments. His starting place is an overly abstract intellectualism that deliberately thrusts passions and social concerns into the background. In the three interrelated books of the Treatise, his “self-understander” proceeds through partial successes and dramatic failures to emerge with new-found optimism, expecting that the “exact knowledge” the morally self-conscious anatomist of human nature can acquire will itself improve and correct our vision of morality. Baier describes how, by turning philosophy toward human nature instead of toward God and the universe, Hume initiated a new philosophy, a broader discipline of reflection that can embrace Charles Darwin and Michel Foucault as well as William James and Sigmund Freud. Hume belongs both to our present and to our past.
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The Promise of Progress
The Life and Work of Lewis Henry Morgan
Daniel Noah Moses
University of Missouri Press, 2009
A pioneering anthropologist, social theorist, railroad lawyer, and advocate for Native Americans, Lewis Henry Morgan was the only American to be cited by Darwin, Marx, and Freud. By many accounts, he was the most influential American social scientist of the nineteenth century. Morgan traced humanity’s progress from life among a primary group to one in an increasingly impersonal civilization—from primitive cave to civilized parlor—and along the way explained the meaning of modernity and the meaning of America. For Morgan, they were one and the same.
Daniel Noah Moses has written the most complete biography of this prominent intellectual to date, tracing his career and documenting in detail his worldwide influence. Although Morgan is best known among anthropologists, Moses reveals to a wider readership his life and accomplishments as an important American thinker who considered the United States the embodiment of the Enlightenment and a model for the world.
Moses presents Morgan’s life in great detail, with facts that will surprise even those who think they know him. From his early work with the Iroquois to his defense of American capitalism to his strange posthumous career among international communists and American leftists, Moses weaves together the diverse strands that made up the rich tapestry of this singular life. He locates Morgan’s American voice within a tradition of transatlantic social theory dedicated to understanding the spirit that motivates modern societies. In showing how Morgan reflected the interplay between Christian, classical, and liberal traditions, Moses delves into the role of such concepts as “savagery,” “barbarism,” the “primitive,” “progress,” and “civilization” in nineteenth-century social theory and in the broader American culture. And he tells how even today Morgan’s influence is felt among environmentalists, anarchists, feminists, and other social visionaries.
Morgan explained how humans evolved beyond nature to both the splendor and squalor of the Industrial Age and offered an unprecedented analysis of the interplay between family, property relations, the state, and the human mind. The Promise of Progress will spark the imagination of anyone who worries that progress has outstripped the human capacity to live together, allowing readers to better understand the relationship between the American emphasis on consumption, the buried riches of the American dream, and the possibilities for our future.
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The Saints of Progress
A History of Coffee, Migration, and Costa Rican National Identity
Carmen Kordick
University of Alabama Press, 2019
A reshaping of traditional understandings of Costa Rica and its national identity
 
The Saints of Progress: A History of Coffee, Migration, and Costa Rican National Identity chronicles the development of the Tarrazú Valley, a historically remote—although internationally celebrated—coffee-growing region. Carmen Kordick’s work traces the development of this region from the early nineteenth century to the first decades of the twenty-first century to consider the nation-building process from the margins, while also questioning traditional scholarly works that have reproduced, rather than deconstructed, Costa Rica’s exceptionalist national mythology, which hail Costa Rica as Central America’s “white,” democratic, nonviolent, and egalitarian republic.
 
In this compelling political, economic, and lived history, Kordick suggests that Costa Rica’s exceptionalist and egalitarian mythology emerged during the Cold War, as revolution, civil war, military dictatorship, and state violence plagued much of Central America. From the vantage point of Costa Rica’s premier coffee-producing region, she examines local, national, and transnational processes. This deeply textured narrative details the inauguration of coffee capitalism, which heightened existing class divisions; a successful armed revolt against the national government, which forged the current political regime; and the onset of massive out-migration to the United States.
 
Kordick’s research incorporates more than one hundred oral histories and thousands of archival sources gathered in both Costa Rica and the United States to produce a human history of Costa Rica’s past. Her work on the recent past profiles the experiences of migrants in the United States, mostly in New Jersey, where many undocumented Costa Ricans find low-paid work in the restaurant and landscaping sectors. The result is a fine-grained examination of Tarrazú’s development from the 1820s to the present that reshapes traditional understandings of Costa Rica and its national past.
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Science and Social Inequality
Feminist and Postcolonial Issues
Sandra Harding
University of Illinois Press, 2006

In Science and Social Inequality, Sandra Harding makes the provocative argument that the philosophy and practices of today's Western science, contrary to its Enlightenment mission, work to insure that more science will only worsen existing gaps between the best and worst off around the world. She defends this claim by exposing the ways that hierarchical social formations in modern Western sciences encode antidemocratic principles and practices, particularly in terms of their services to militarism, the impoverishment and alienation of labor, Western expansion, and environmental destruction. The essays in this collection--drawing on feminist, multicultural, and postcolonial studies--propose ways to reconceptualize the sciences in the global social order. 

At issue here are not only social justice and environmental issues but also the accuracy and comprehensiveness of our understandings of natural and social worlds. The inadvertent complicity of the sciences with antidemocratic projects obscures natural and social realities and thus blocks the growth of scientific knowledge. Scientists, policy makers, social justice movements and the consumers of scientific products (that is, the rest of us) can work together and separately to improve this situation.

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Science At Century's End
Philosophical Questions on the Progress and Limits of Science
Martin Carrier
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2004
To most laypersons and scientists, science and progress appear to go hand in hand, yet philosophers and historians of science have long questioned the inevitability of this pairing. As we take leave of a century acclaimed for scientific advances and progress, Science at Century's End, the eighth volume of the Pittsburgh-Konstanz Series in the Philosophy and History of Science, takes the reader to the heart of this important matter. Subtitled Philosophical Questions on the Progress and Limits of Science, this timely volume contains twenty penetrating essays by prominent philosophers and historians who explore and debate the limits of scientific inquiry and their presumed consequences for science in the 21st century.
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Southern Progressivism
The Reconciliation of Progress and Tradition
Dewey Grantham
University of Tennessee Press, 1983
This is the most comprehensive synthesis of the political history of the American South during the Progressive Era. Originally published in 1983, this work represented the master work of a gifted historian's career of reflecting on this period of the region's history. This new printing is accompanied by an insightful foreword by William  A. Link, addressing the work's continuing relevance for today's students.
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Terry Sanford
Politics, Progress, and Outrageous Ambitions
Howard E. Covington Jr. and Marion A. Ellis
Duke University Press, 1999
Terry Sanford (1917–1998) was one of the most important public figures of the postwar South. First as North Carolina’s governor and later as president of Duke University, he demonstrated a dynamic style of progressive leadership marked by compassion and creativity. This book tells the story of Sanford’s beginnings, his political aspirations, his experiences in office, and, of course, his numerous accomplishments in the context of a period of revolutionary change in the South.
After defeating a segregationist campaign in 1960 to win the governorship, Sanford used his years in office to boost public education and advance race relations. A decade later, at the height of tumult on American campuses, Sanford assumed the presidency of Duke University and led it to its position as one of the top universities in the nation. During his more than fifty years as a public servant he was associated with presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Jimmy Carter. Sanford was a presidential candidate himself in 1972 and 1976, and he won election to the United States Senate in 1986 where his international commission produced an economic recovery plan for Central America. As one of the last New Deal Democrats in the Senate, he remained passionate about the opportunity for leaders to use government to improve people’s lives.
Terry Sanford draws on Sanford’s considerable private and public archive as well as on the recollections of Sanford himself and his family, colleagues, and friends. This biography offers a unique perspective on North Carolina life, politics, political personalities, and the shifting public allegiances of the second half of the twentieth century that transformed life both in North Carolina and throughout the American South.
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Thinking Confederates
Academia and the Idea of Progress in the New South
Dan R. Frost
University of Tennessee Press, 2010

In the wake of their defeat in the Civil War, many southern intellectuals recognized that their institutions had failed to supply antebellum graduates with the skills needed to compete with the North. Thus, educators who had previously served as Confederate officers led an effort to promote academic reform throughout the region.

In Thinking Confederates, Dan R. Frost details how these men set about transforming southern higher education, shifting their schools from a classical orientation to a new emphasis on science and engineering. Although they espoused a reverence for the past, they recognized that the eradication of slavery had been necessary for southern progress, and they upheld an idea of a New South that embraced beliefs both in the “Lost Cause” and in national reconciliation.

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Tradition
Edward Shils
University of Chicago Press, 1981
Tradition, by esteemed sociologist Edward Shils, was the first book to fully explore the history, significance, and future of tradition as a whole. Intent on questioning the meaning of the antitraditionalist impulse in today's society, Shils argues here that the tendency to distrust and rebel against tradition is at the heart of tradition itself; only through suspicion and defiance does tradition actually move forward. Revealing the importance of tradition to social and political institutions, technology, science, literature, religion, and scholarship, Tradition remains the definitive work on this vital element of our society.

"Shils is a man of fabled learning, whose mind purrs powerfully like the moth at dusk. I hesitate to use the word conservative of him because it misses the central concern of his work, which is not conservatism, but the conservation of those human resources and achievements which are richest, and matter most."—David A. Martin, Times Literary Supplement

"Tradition is the first comprehensive treatment of the subject that encompasses the totality of tradition in all its multifaceted variables and functions. . . . It is a landmark analytical and theoretical sociological study that not only fills a need but also provides a basic model and impetus for further research."—H. Leon Abrams Jr., Sociology

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Understanding ALBA
Progress, Problems, and Prospects of Alternative Regionalism in Latin America and the Caribbean
Edited by Asa K. Cusack
University of London Press, 2018
This collection analyses the impact and influence of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), whose vision of alternative regionalism has spearheaded Latin America and the Caribbean’s collective challenge to neoliberal globalisation in the twenty-first century. The volume’s comprehensive coverage incorporates insights from the domestic level in Nicaragua, the Anglophone Caribbean, and especially Venezuela, while also exploring ALBA’s key regional economic and social-policy initiatives and its place in the wider international relations of Latin American and the Caribbean. Moving beyond normative debates about the project’s desirability and descriptive accounts of its initiatives, this volume provides critical analyses that consider equally ALBA’s progress, problems, and prospects. In tackling many of the key questions about the past and future of ALBA it reveals a frequently misunderstood organisation whose impacts have been significant but whose failings also jeopardise the project’s long-term sustainability. This timely volume helps us to understand the dynamics shaping the region at a time when its global relevance has never been greater.
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We
Reviving Social Hope
Ronald Aronson
University of Chicago Press, 2017
The election of Donald Trump has exposed American society’s profound crisis of hope. By 2016 a generation of shrinking employment, rising inequality, the attack on public education, and the shredding of the social safety net, had set the stage for stunning insurgencies at opposite ends of the political spectrum. Against this dire background, Ronald Aronson offers an answer. He argues for a unique conception of social hope, one with the power for understanding and acting upon the present situation. Hope, he argues, is far more than a mood or feeling—it is the very basis of social will and political action. It is this kind of hope that Aronson sees brewing in the supporters of Bernie Sanders, who advocated the tough-minded and inspired disposition to act collectively to make the world more equal, more democratic, more peaceful, and more just.  And it was directly contrasted by Trump’s supporters who showed a cynical and nostalgic faith in an authoritarian strongman replete with bigotry and misogyny. 
         
Beneath today’s crisis Aronson examines our heartbreaking story: a century of catastrophic violence and the bewildering ambiguity of progress—all of which have contributed to the evaporation of social hope. As he shows, we are now in a time when hope is increasingly privatized, when—despite all the ways we are connected to each other—we are desperately alone, struggling to weather the maelstrom around us, demoralized by the cynicism that permeates our culture and politics, and burdened with finding personal solutions to social problems.
 
Yet, Aronson argues, even at a time when false hopes are rife, social hope still persists. Carefully exploring what we mean when we say we “hope” and teasing hope apart from its dangerously misconstrued sibling, “progress,” he locates seeds of real change. He argues that always underlying our experience—even if we completely ignore it—is the fact of our social belonging, and that this can be reactivated into a powerful collective force, an active we. He looks to various political movements, from the massive collective force of environmentalists to the movements around Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn, as powerful examples of socially energized, politically determined, and actionably engaged forms of hope. Even in this age of Donald Trump, the result is an illuminating and inspiring call that anyone can clearly hear: we can still create a better future for everyone, but only if we resist false hopes and act together.
 
 
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Women at Odds
Indifference, Antagonism, and Progress in Late Victorian Literature
Riya Das
The Ohio State University Press, 2024
In Women at Odds, Riya Das demonstrates the limitations of female solidarity for the New Woman in Victorian society. On the one hand, feminist antagonism disrupts the status quo in unanticipated ways, and it helps open new domestic and professional pathways for women. On the other hand, the urban professional New Woman’s rhetoric recycles distinctly sexist, racist, and classist conventions, thereby bringing middle-class Englishwomen dialectically—what Das terms “retro-progressively”—into the labor pool of the British empire.

While foregrounding the figure of the New Woman as a white imperialist reformer, Das illustrates how the New Woman movement detaches itself from the domestic politics of female friendship. In works by George Eliot, George Gissing, Olive Schreiner, Bram Stoker, and others, antagonism and indifference enable the fin de siècle New Woman to transcend traditionally defined roles and fashion social progress for herself at the expense of femininities she excludes as “other.” By contesting the critical notion of solidarity as the only force that brings Victorian women’s narratives to fruition, Women at Odds reveals the troubled but effective role of antagonistic and indifferent reformist politics in loosening rigid social structures for privileged populations.
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Women in Academe
Progress and Prospects
Mariam K. Chamberlain
Russell Sage Foundation, 1988
The role of women in higher education, as in many other settings, has undergone dramatic changes during the past two decades. This significant period of progress and transition is definitively assessed in the landmark volume, Women in Academe. Crowded out by returning veterans and pressed by social expectations to marry early and raise children, women in the 1940s and 1950s lost many of the educational gains they had made in previous decades. In the 1960s women began to catch up, and by the 1970s women were taking rapid strides in academic life. As documented in this comprehensive study, the combined impact of the women's movement and increased legislative attention to issues of equality enabled women to make significant advances as students and, to a lesser extent, in teaching and academic administration. Women in Academe traces the phenomenal growth of women's studies programs, the notable gains of women in non-traditional fields, the emergence of campus women's centers and research institutes, and the increasing presence of minority and re-entry women. Also examined are the uncertain future of women's colleges and the disappointingly slow movement of women into faculty and administrative positions. This authoritative volume provides more current and extensive data on its subject than any other study now available. Clearly and objectively, it tells an impressive story of progress achieved—and of important work still to be done.
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World's Fairs in the Cold War
Science, Technology, and the Culture of Progress
Arthur P. Molella
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2019

The post–World War II science-based technological revolution inevitably found its way into almost all international expositions with displays on atomic energy, space exploration, transportation, communications, and computers. Major advancements in Cold War science and technology helped to shape new visions of utopian futures, the stock-in-trade of world’s fairs. From the 1940s to the 1980s, expositions in the United States and around the world, from Brussels to Osaka to Brisbane, mirrored Cold War culture in a variety of ways, and also played an active role in shaping it. This volume illustrates the cultural change and strain spurred by the Cold War, a disruptive period of scientific and technological progress that ignited growing concern over the impact of such progress on the environment and humanistic and spiritual values. Through the lens of world’s fairs, contributors across disciplines offer an integrated exploration of the US–USSR rivalry from a global perspective and in the context of broader social and cultural phenomena—faith and religion, gender and family relations, urbanization and urban planning, fashion, modernization, and national identity—all of which were fundamentally reshaped by tensions and anxieties of the Atomic Age.

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front cover of Yesterday
Yesterday
A New History of Nostalgia
Tobias Becker
Harvard University Press, 2023

A sweeping reassessment of our longing for the past, from the rise of “retro” to the rhetoric of Brexit and Trump.

Nostalgia has a bad reputation. Its critics dismiss it as mere sentimentality or, worse, a dangerous yearning for an imagined age of purity. And nostalgia is routinely blamed for trivializing the past and obscuring its ugly sides. In Yesterday, Tobias Becker offers a more nuanced and sympathetic view. Surveying the successive waves of nostalgia that swept the United States and Europe after the Second World War, he shows that longing for the past is more complex and sometimes more beneficial than it seems.

The current meaning of “nostalgia” is surprisingly recent: until the 1960s, it usually just meant homesickness, in keeping with the original Greek word. Linking popular culture to postwar politics in the United States, Great Britain, and Germany, Becker explains the shift in meaning. He also responds to arguments against nostalgia, showing its critics as often shortsighted in their own ways as they defend an idea of progress no less naïve than the wistfulness they denounce. All too often, nostalgia itself is criticized, as if its merit did not depend on which specific past one longs for.

Taking its title from one of the most popular songs of all time, and grounded in extensive research, Yesterday offers a rigorous and entertaining perspective on divisive issues in culture and politics. Whether we are revisiting, reviving, reliving, reenacting, or regressing, and whether these activities find expression in politics, music, fashion, or family history, nostalgia is inevitable. It is also powerful, not only serving to define the past but also orienting us toward the future we will create.

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