Review of Sidney Hook, John Dewey, An Intellectual Portrait [Book Review]

Canadian Philosophical Reviews (6):403-407 (1995)

H. G. Callaway
Temple University
Newly re-printed, Sydney Hook’s classic (1939) work on Dewey appears with an Introduction by Richard Rorty. Hook may help us see how Dewey fit into his own time. That story is important. The new printing may also help us see how Dewey fits into our time. Rorty lauds more recent treatments of Dewey’s work, especially Robert Westbrook’s intellectual biography John Dewey and American Democracy (1991), and Steven Rockefeller’s John Dewey: Religious Faith and Democratic Humanism (1991) gets honorable mention. Specific comments focus on Alan Ryan’s John Dewey and the High Tide of American Liberalism (1995). “It may be that Dewey and Hook witnessed, as Alan Ryan suggests, ... ‘the high tide of American liberalism,’ but if this is so, then America has lost its soul.”1 Even future-focused pragmatists need to look back to Dewey and Hook. They were “Americans” who, in the final words of the Hook volume, “still had hope for what America may yet be.”
Keywords John Dewey  Sidney Hook  pragmatism
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