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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.
Publication Info. Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, [2018]
Location Call No. Status
 95th Street Adult Nonfiction  320.01 SLA    AVAILABLE
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Description 194 pages ; 23 cm
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 165-182) and index.
Contents "The same but otherwise": Arthur Schopenhauer as a critic of progress -- The autocrat and the anarchist: Nicholas I, Leo Tolstoy, and the problem of progress -- "The path to hell": Henry (and Brooks) Adams on history and politics -- Critics of the idea of progress in an age of extremes: three twentieth-century voices
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.
Subject Schopenhauer, Arthur, 1788-1860 -- Political and social views.
Tolstoy, Leo, graf, 1828-1910 -- Political and social views.
Adams, Henry, 1838-1918.
Spengler, Oswald, 1880-1936.
Solzhenit︠s︡yn, Aleksandr Isaevich, 1918-2008 -- Political and social views.
Lasch, Christopher.
Political science -- Philosophy -- History -- 19th century.
Political science -- Philosophy -- History -- 20th century.
Civilization, Modern -- Philosophy.
Progress.
Regression (Civilization)
Civilization, Modern -- Philosophy. (OCoLC)fst00863096
Political and social views. (OCoLC)fst01353986
Political science -- Philosophy. (OCoLC)fst01069819
Progress. (OCoLC)fst01078723
Regression (Civilization) (OCoLC)fst01093263
Genre History. (OCoLC)fst01411628
ISBN 9780812249804 (hardcover : alk. paper)
0812249801 (hardcover : alk. paper)
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