Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics, and American Economics in the Progressive Era
Who were the academics, reformers, and social scientists that made up the early American progressive movement at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century? The positions held by today’s progressives only bear a passing resemblance to those of the Progressive Era; how have the original progressives’ ideas changed over time?
Thomas C. Leonard joins us this week for a discussion on the founding of the Progressive Era and the creation of the American regulatory and welfare state.
Is there anything inherently wrong or dangerous about the idea of turning over certain aspects of government to experts? How did Darwin’s theories play into the beliefs of these new progressives? Why did the progressives of this era embrace eugenics, racial science, and other ideas that today we would consider abhorrent?
Show Notes and Further Reading
Thomas C. Leonard’s new book, Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics, and American Economics in the Progressive Era (2016).