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Atlantic Crossings: Social Politics in a Progressive Age

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  227 ratings  ·  23 reviews
On a narrative canvas that sweeps across Europe and the United States, Daniel T. Rodgers retells the story of the classic era of efforts to repair the damage of unbridled capitalism. He reveals the forgotten international roots of such innovations as city planning, rural cooperatives, modernist architecture for public housing, and social insurance, among other reforms. ...more
Paperback, 648 pages
Published May 19th 2000 by Belknap Press (first published November 15th 1998)
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Dec 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: ideas, non-fiction
Over a decade after its highly lauded publication I still have not entirely made up my mind as to how I feel about this book. On the one hand, it is intelligent, interesting, and for the most part well-researched. On the other hand, there are some pretty significant errors and omissions.

To begin with the most glaring: Rodgers' underlying chronological supposition concerning transatlantic communication is mistaken. He asks how and why a transatlantic intellectual discourse grew up towards the
Kelli Peters
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Atlantic Crossings: Social Politics in a Progressive Age by Daniel T. Rodgers is an immense work about the progressive age in the United States and Europe. Rodgers follows the progress of the progressive age from approximately 1870 to the Second World War. The focus of this work is on the development and rise of social politics during this time, particularly in labor and housing reforms. Progressive ideas began to manifest themselves in European communities facing harsh working and living ...more
Dan Gorman
Apr 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Rodgers's tome is at times unwieldy, given its enormous thematic range and lack of defining characters throughout, but the book brilliantly synthesizes seventy-five years of progressive politics, 1870 to 1945. All of the people in this book wanted to solve the "social question" — the nature of society in a modern capitalist age. More than any person or group of people, an intellectual exchange is the star of this book. Rodgers believes that Progressivism would not have existed in its modern form ...more
Dan Allosso
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
I thought Rodgers made an important point about the transatlantic spread of ideas that ultimately became known as Progressive. The period he chose, from the Exposition Universelle at the turn of the 20th century to the New Deal, was interesting. My only criticism was that he focused almost exclusively on elite urban intellectuals. Don't get me wrong, Horace Plunkett was a fascinating figure. But when Rodgers wrote about the Municipal Ownership League, he mentioned three of the leagues vice ...more
Andrea R.
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Understanding where we are

Atlantic Crossings, in its detailed and lively description of the flow of progressive ideas about modernizing societies through Northern Europe, the US and the antipodes from 1880 till 1950, does much to highlight and describe the commonalities and the distinctions in each country. Our present world stands in the shoulders of these exchanges. As we look to a an increasingly globalized world, even as it staggers, perhaps especially as it staggers, there are innumerable
Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good, but def a slog. Writing a longggg book was part of his historiographic intervention, so he can't be blamed. Academics, read his "In Search of Progressivism" article.
Dec 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: europe, u-s-a
Good intervention into the American exceptionalism debate. Short answer: it's not exceptional but is different at the same time.
Mike Hankins
Sep 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Most Americans are used to thinking of the Progressive Era as a uniquely American attempt to improve the lives of the lower and middle classes, provide advancements in safety and safeguards against exploitation. In Atlantic Crossings, Daniel Rodgers goes to great lengths to show that this process was in fact happening throughout Europe, and these progressive ideas were discussed and implemented through a large "Trans-Atlantic community." The book sets its focus mainly on Germany, England, and ...more
Nov 12, 2013 rated it liked it
This book concerns the period from about 1880 up through the Post-War. Readers expecting a strict definition of "Progressive" as being those policies enacted between McKinley's death and Harding's inauguration will find that Rodgers includes New Deal Liberalism in the broad swath of Progressive policies adopted from across the Atlantic. Rodgers' thesis is two-fold. First, that the reforms Americans enacted in response to industrialization originated in Europe. Second, that the New Deal was a ...more
Jan 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Rodgers focuses his study on the trans-Atlantic connections between industrializing nations during the Progressive era. He is primarily interested in the confluence of processes and cultural transformations that impacted distinct political choices, arguing that transnational similarities render particular domestic choices more meaningful. While Rodgers discusses the shared economic development between Western nations, as well as changed attitude in America toward Europe that involved an ...more
Vincent DiGirolamo
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, history, finished, 2017
Excellent, impressive study. Such a big canvas. So many social ills to rectify and social goods to de-commodify -- in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Scandinavia, New Zealand, etc. Everyone zipping around the globe, reading each other's dry-as-dust studies and proposals with eagerness. Still, the bad'uns who cling to some mythic American Way and reject all foreign-born ideas. Who else could sort this out with such clarity and lively writing? Useful, informative, and inspiring for those daring ...more
Gregory W. Swedberg
Oct 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
He fails to discuss a monumental example of the true universality -- and not just cross-Atlanticity -- of the Progressive Movement by connecting imperialism with Progressivism, which, for a brief period, were difficult to distinguish. Still, a refreshing break from American exceptionalism while leaving the door open to other avenues of trans-national research on Progressivism.
Dec 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
Its about 300 pages longer than it needs to be. Good information, but repetitive.
May 15, 2014 rated it liked it
good book. i wish the fact that americans spoke with europeans didn't constitute an argument. so i hold that against him. the research is interesting especially the bit about municipal socialism
Andee Nero
Jan 14, 2017 rated it liked it
This book didn't need to be this long to make the point it was making.
Dec 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A good examination of the origins of coping with urban growth and modernity in America.
Amazing history of "progressive" thought and politics as a trans-atlantic phenomenon.
Impressive considering its remarkable breadth and accessibility.
--Not as convinced of the argument the second time reading through, but still, an impressive work--
Ben Brandenburg
Apr 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
Transnational history at its best.
Melissa Maxwell
Mar 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
The book was long but informative. I wished he would have included women and that movement involved.
Aug 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Contributes to the growing literature of the unified Atlantic world
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Oct 03, 2018
rated it it was ok
May 22, 2012
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