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Author Slaboch, Matthew W., author

Title A road to nowhere : the idea of progress and its critics / Matthew W. Slaboch
Edition 1st edition
Published Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, [2018]
Online access available from:
ProQuest Ebook Central    View Resource Record  


Description 1 online resource
Summary Since the Enlightenment, the idea of progress has spanned right- and left-wing politics, secular and spiritual philosophy, and most every school of art or culture. The belief that humans are capable of making lasting improvements-intellectual, scientific, material, moral, and cultural-continues to be a commonplace of our age. However, events of the preceding century, including but not limited to two world wars, conflicts in Korea and Vietnam, the spread of communism across Eastern Europe and parts of Asia, violent nationalism in the Balkans, and genocides in Cambodia and Rwanda, have called into question this faith in the continued advancement of humankind. Matthew W. Slaboch argues that political theorists should entertain the possibility that long-term, continued progress may be more fiction than reality. He examines the work of German philosophers Arthur Schopenhauer and Oswald Spengler, Russian novelists Leo Tolstoy and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, and American historians Henry Adams and Christopher Lasch-rare skeptics of the idea of progress who have much to engage political theory, a field dominated by historical optimists. Looking at the figures of Schopenhauer, Tolstoy, and Adams, Slaboch considers the ways in which they defined progress and their reasons for doubting that their cultures, or the world, were progressing. He compares Germany, Russia, and the United States to illustrate how these nineteenth-century critics of the idea of progress contributed to or helped forestall the emergence of forms of government that came to be associated with each country
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Online resource; title from PDF title page (EBSCO, viewed December 12, 2017)
Subject Adams, Henry, 1838-1918
Lasch, Christopher
Schopenhauer, Arthur, 1788-1860 -- Political and social views
Solzhenit︠s︡yn, Aleksandr Isaevich, 1918-2008 -- Political and social views
Spengler, Oswald, 1880-1936
Tolstoy, Leo, graf, 1828-1910 -- Political and social views
Adams, Henry, 1838-1918.
Lasch, Christopher.
Schopenhauer, Arthur, 1788-1860.
Solzhenit︠s︡yn, Aleksandr Isaevich, 1918-2008.
Spengler, Oswald, 1880-1936.
Tolstoy, Leo, graf, 1828-1910.
Civilization, Modern -- Philosophy
Political science -- Philosophy -- History -- 19th century
Political science -- Philosophy -- History -- 20th century
Regression (Civilization)
Civilization, Modern -- Philosophy.
POLITICAL SCIENCE -- Government -- General.
POLITICAL SCIENCE -- Government -- National.
Political and social views.
Political science -- Philosophy.
Regression (Civilization)
Genre/Form History.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 0812294661 (electronic bk.)
9780812294668 (electronic bk.)