Trickled down to us



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The Progressive Era

We should not accept social life as it has “trickled down to us,” the young journalist Walter Lippmann wrote soon after the twentieth century began. “We have to deal with it deliberately, devise its social organization, . . . educate and control it.” The ambition to harness and organize the energies of modern life of which Lippmann spoke cut through American economy, politics, and society in many different, sometimes contradictory ways between 1900 and 1929, but it left virtually none of its major institutions unchanged. The modern business corporation, modern politics, the modern presidency, a modern vision of the international order, and modern consumer capitalism were all born in these years.





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