Biography, History, Reviews

Review: Brown, Richard Hofstadter

jacket imageSean Wilentz has an eight-page review essay of David S. Brown’s Richard Hofstadter: An Intellectual Biography in the current issue of the New Republic. Here is a paragraph from the review:

In some respects, indeed, Hofstadter’s standing has risen since 1970. His fascination with the history of what he called “political culture,” the quirks in American politics beyond official platforms and speeches, is now very much in vogue. And no historian of the United States with the same combination of intellectual heterodoxy, literary brilliance, and scholarly sweep has replaced him. Amid the current dizzy political scene—with its snake-oil preachers, and anti-Darwinian Social Darwinists, and Indian casino ripoff artists, and a president whose friends say he thinks he is ordained by God—Hofstadter’s sharpness about the darker follies of American democracy seems more urgently needed than ever.

Read an excerpt from the book.