Herbert Croly: Progressive Apostle

Herbert David Croly (1869–1930) was one of the most influential public intellectuals of the Progressive movement in the early 20th century, but his influence was not limited to his own era. Croly’s ideas were also instrumental in shaping President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. Following the 1932 election, there was widespread consensus that Croly’s ideas had been a midwife to the new political order. Yet Croly is scarcely known today outside of the academic community. This is a most unfortunate gap in our collective understanding of modern liberalism. In order to clarify why we are where we are and how we got here, it is important that we recover an understanding of Croly’s role in the unfolding of this drama.

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