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The Public Philosophy

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  64 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Begun in 1938 and completed only in 1955, The Public Philosophy offers as much a glimpse into the private philosophy of America's premier journalist of the twentieth century as it does a public philosophy.The basis of Lippmann's effort is "that there is a deep disorder in our society which comes not from the machinations of our enemies and from the adversaries of the human ...more
Paperback, 210 pages
Published January 30th 1989 by Routledge (first published 1956)
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Steven Peterson
Jan 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Walter Lippmann was an interesting political thinker in the United States during the 20th Century. This is one of his most interesting works. And his ruminations are quite relevant today. A key point at the outset of this work (Page 19): "If I am right in what I have been saying, there has developed in this century a functional derangement of the relationship between the mass of people and the government. The people have acquired power which they are incapable of exercising and the governments-- ...more
Ed Barton
Oct 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Lippmann is rarely mentioned in the 21st Century as a great political and philosophical writer. That would have been a shock to those reading his prolific columns 75 years ago. In this, his final book, he discusses the need for an informed citizenry and the limitations of democracy as it was practiced in the 1950's. His observations on the dangers of Jacobinism and Leninism on each polar end of the spectrum and in the importance of an active, knowledgeable society resonate as much today as they ...more
Rural Sellers
Sep 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Some of the phrasing is dated but the views on the dangers to democracy seem just as relevant today.
Reader Variety
Feb 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: commentary
Interesting to read a book written in 1955 and draw lessons that still apply to the global and domestic environment today.

Lippmann sees it as error to give the executive power of "decision" to the people - the masses need input, but the elected and appointed must decide, and must be proactive.

"With exceptions so rare that they are regarded as miracles and freaks of nature, successful democratic politicians are insecure and intimidated men."

Notes that the American people did not vote for their fr
...more
Rob Smith, Jr.
Apr 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
Here is a balanced inspection as to how a society believes. Author Lippmann takes those ideas and projects them as to future possibilities and compares to results of past ideas. The philosophical journey is a bit simplistic to more complicated philosophical examinations. This being a mass market book, it is perfect for the general public...at that time of 1954.

This book is light years over the heads of the general public today. The ejection of emotional influence would leave Americans of today l
...more
Eric Baldwin
excellent explanation of the current political and social situation. He wrote this text in the mid-century but the principles are timeless and today they are more applicable than ever before.
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Walter Lippmann was an American intellectual, writer, reporter, and political commentator who gained notoriety for being among the first to introduce the concept of Cold War. Lippmann was twice awarded (1958 and 1962) a Pulitzer Prize for his syndicated newspaper column, "Today and Tomorrow." ...more

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