Culture and Democracy in the United States

Front Cover
Transaction Publishers, 1924 - Political Science - 339 pages
In his new introduction, Whitfield sets the scene of the early twentieth century to show what inspired Horace Kallen to write this book. He delves deeply into his background, discussing the influences on Kallen's life and work. Whitfield also examines the many changes that have occurred since Culture and Democracy in the United States was first written, and reveals that many of the ideas espoused by Kallen have become reality.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: Culture and Democracy in the United States

User Review  - Josť-antonio Orosco - Goodreads

Kallen is a much underrated philosopher but he was a student of Josiah Royce and William James at Harvard. He was friends with Alain Locke and is usually credited with coming up with the idea of "cultural pluralism", the forerunner of our modern idea of multiculturalism. Read full review


Introduction to the Transaction
PostscriptCulture and the Ku Klux
A Meaning of Americanism
Democracy versus the MeltingPot
Americanization and the Cultural
The Newest Reaction
America and the Life of Reason
Humanism and the Industrial Age

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 116 - American civilization" may come to mean the perfection of the cooperative harmonies of "European civilization" — the waste, the squalor and the distress of Europe being eliminated — a multiplicity in a unity, an orchestration of mankind.
Page 116 - ... the outlines of a possible great and truly democratic commonwealth become discernible. Its form would be that of the federal republic; its substance a democracy of nationalities, cooperating voluntarily and autonomously through common institutions in the enterprise of self-realization through the perfection of men according to their kind.
Page 44 - We have it in our power to begin the world over again. A situation, similar to the present, hath not happened since the days of Noah until now. The birth-day of a new world is at hand...
Page 117 - ... in the symphony of civilization the playing is the writing, so that there is nothing so fixed and inevitable about its progressions as in music, so that within the limits set by nature they may vary at will, and the range and variety of the harmonies may become wider and richer and more beautiful.
Page xvii - Men may change their clothes, their politics, their wives, their religions, their philosophies, to a greater or lesser extent: they cannot change their grandfathers.
Page 53 - Democracy involves, not the elimination of differences, but the perfection and conservation of differences. It aims, through Union, not at uniformity, but at variety, at a one out of many, as the dollars say in Latin, and a many in one.
Page 296 - ... Not only colours, beauties, and passions, but all things formerly suspected of being creatures of thought, such as laws, relations, and abstract qualities, now become components of the existing object, since there is no longer any mental vehicle by which they might have been created and interposed. The young American is thus reassured: his joy in living and learning is no longer chilled by the contempt which idealism used to cast on nature for being imaginary and on science for being intellectual.
Page 124 - I wish our teaching of American history in the schools would take more account of the great waves of migration by which our land for over three centuries has been continuously built up, and made every pupil conscious of the rich breadth of our national make-up. When every pupil recognizes all the factors which have gone into our being, he will continue to prize and reverence that coming from his own past, but he will think of it as honored in being simply one factor in forming a whole, nobler and...
Page 110 - America," the America of the New England school, or a harmony, in which that theme shall be dominant, -^perhaps, among others, but one among many, not the only one ? The mind reverts helplessly to the historic attempts at unison in Europe — the heroic failure of the pan-Hellenists, of the Romans, the disintegration and the diversification of the Christian Church, for a time the most successful unison in history ; the present-day failures of Germany and of Russia. Here, however, the whole social...

Bibliographic information