With Critical Americans, Leslie Butler has written a remarkable work that recovers a lost generation of American intellectuals. Tracing the intellectual friendship among George William Curtis, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, James Russell Lowell, and Charles Eliot Nor ton from the 1840S through the beginning of the twentieth century, Butler makes a compelling case that we need to rethink the tradition of genteel liberalism. Too often, historians have dismissed the Mug wumps as backward-looking elites hostile to democracy. Butler recasts them not only as forward looking but also as committed to upholding the highest ideals of American democracy-critical engagement, an educated citizenry, cosmopolitan patriotism, and anti-imperialism.
New England Quarterly-A Historical Review of New England Life and Letters
Neem, Johann N., "Review of: Critical Americans: Victorian Intellectuals and Transatlantic Liberal Reform" (2008). History Faculty and Staff Publications. 1.
Subjects - Topical (LCSH)
Liberalism--United States--History--19th century; Politics and culture--United States--History--19th century; Democracy--United States--History--19th century
Subjects - Names (LCNAF)
Butler, Leslie, 1969-. Critical Americans