Richard Hofstadter

Richard Hofstadter’s Followers (217)

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Richard Hofstadter


Born
in Buffalo, New York, The United States
August 06, 1916

Died
October 24, 1970

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Charles Beard, Merle Curti, Karl Marx, F. Scott Fitzgerald, H. L. Menc ...more


Richard Hofstadter was an American public intellectual, historian and DeWitt Clinton Professor of American History at Columbia University. In the course of his career, Hofstadter became the “iconic historian of postwar liberal consensus” whom twenty-first century scholars continue consulting, because his intellectually engaging books and essays continue to illuminate contemporary history.

His most important works are Social Darwinism in American Thought, 1860–1915 (1944); The American Political Tradition (1948); The Age of Reform (1955); Anti-intellectualism in American Life (1963), and the essays collected in The Paranoid Style in American Politics (1964). He was twice awarded the Pulitzer Prize: in 1956 for The Age of Reform, an unsentimen
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Average rating: 4.05 · 8,448 ratings · 665 reviews · 42 distinct worksSimilar authors
Anti-Intellectualism in Ame...

4.14 avg rating — 2,812 ratings — published 1963 — 22 editions
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The Age of Reform

3.91 avg rating — 1,841 ratings — published 1955 — 10 editions
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The American Political Trad...

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4.03 avg rating — 1,711 ratings — published 1948 — 14 editions
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The Paranoid Style in Ameri...

4.15 avg rating — 1,188 ratings — published 1964 — 16 editions
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Social Darwinism in America...

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3.80 avg rating — 229 ratings — published 1955 — 9 editions
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The Paranoid Style in Ameri...

4.21 avg rating — 133 ratings3 editions
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America at 1750: A Social P...

3.63 avg rating — 136 ratings — published 1971 — 7 editions
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The Idea of a Party System:...

3.82 avg rating — 103 ratings — published 1969 — 4 editions
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The Progressive Historians:...

3.98 avg rating — 49 ratings — published 1968 — 7 editions
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Great Issues in American Hi...

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3.92 avg rating — 48 ratings — published 1958 — 6 editions
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More books by Richard Hofstadter…
Great Issues in American Hi... Great Issues in American Hi... Great Issues in American Hi...
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“To those who suspect that intellect is a subversive force in society, it will not do to reply that intellect is really a safe, bland, and emollient thing. In a certain sense, the suspicious Tories and militant philistines are right: intellect is dangerous. Left free, there is nothing it will not reconsider, analyze, throw into question. "Let us admit the case of the conservative," John Dewey once wrote. "If we once start thinking no one can guarantee what will be the outcome, except that many objects, ends and institutions will be surely doomed. Every thinker puts some portion of an apparently stable world in peril, and no one can wholly predict what will emerge in its place." Further, there is no way of guaranteeing that an intellectual class will be discreet and restrained in the use of its influence; the only assurance that can be given to any community is that it will be far worse off if it denies the free uses of the power of intellect than if it permits them. To be sure, intellectuals, contrary to the fantasies of cultural vigilantes, are hardly ever subversive of a society as a whole. But intellect is always on the move against something: some oppression, fraud, illusion, dogma, or interest is constantly falling under the scrutiny of the intellectual class and becoming the object of exposure, indignation, or ridicule.”
Richard Hofstadter, Anti-Intellectualism in American Life

“It is a poor head that cannot find plausible reason for doing what the heart wants to do.”
Richard Hofstadter, The American Political Tradition and the Men Who Made It

“Tocqueville saw that the life of constant action and decision which was entailed by the democratic and businesslike character of American life put a premium upon rough and ready habits of mind, quick decision, and the prompt seizure of opportunities - and that all this activity was not propitious for deliberation, elaboration, or precision in thought.”
Richard Hofstadter, Anti-Intellectualism in American Life

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