The Clare Spark Blog

March 13, 2020

Henry Steele Commager, major Fabian historian

Filed under: Uncategorized — clarelspark @ 6:01 pm

Since one of my Facebook friends thought that Commager was an “unbiased” historian, I thought that I should spell out his liberalism. (I assume that many know about the leftist and social democratic takeover of academe.)

Commager also wrote about Charles Beard and admired Vernon Parrington, Thorstein Veblin, coopted Walter Lippmann (!, in The Good Society– left out Lippmann’s reading and current admiration for von Mises ), pushed pragmatism–especially William James, John Dewey, and Josiah Royce–, and the whole roster of liberal figures (particularly FDR, and including writers, assuming he actually read all those books), but he trashed the Constitution all except for  Founder and agrarian Thomas Jefferson, and very occasionally Alexander Hamilton, I assume that he masqueraded as a moderate.  He also claimed the contemporary American was “vulgar.” a word he deployed several times, though he admired the fighting men of the recent war. Never mentioned “the Bomb.”

But most shocking to me was his attitude toward women, asserting that the women of the 1920’s were [harridans]. and of course denigrated the Jazz Age and urbanization.

Commager was part of the New Deal coalition, which like all Big Government types, was disconcerting, even painful to read. Liberals took up identity politics during the 1960’s. But he  was au courant with the condition of blacks, in fact, used the phrase “white supremacy” at least once.  Of course he was down on Reconstruction. 

The 19th Century was comparatively good (unlike the 1920s), until industrialism spawned its horrid crop of magnates. Tell that to the Indians or to those who dissented from the Mexican War.







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