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Uncertain Victory

Uncertainty as Fetish

In the inaugural essay for my Great Books in US Intellectual History Series I hope I made clear that I am a big fan of James Kloppenberg’s monumental book, Uncertain Victory: Social Democracy and Progressivism in European and American Thought, 1870-1920 (1986). But like all books even great ones need to be critiqued. Indeed great ones especially demand our critical reflection because they cast such long shadows over our discipline. Failure to do so results in scholarly stagnation. It is in this spirit that I critique Uncertain Victory. Read more