Perhaps Dr. Rahe or another esteemed member of the Hillsdale faculty will see this?
I'm a high school history teacher (at small private school) and I'd like to put together an assignment that presents a balanced view of the progressive movement. Can anyone recommend an essay or book excerpt that presents a reasoned conservative response to progressivism?
It can be modern, although, a gem from the progressive era itself would be fantastic. Generally, the "conservative" opposition to progressivism is presented as coming from the likes of social darwinists (who were "progressives" themselves!). Rarely do you see the existence of traditional conservative constitutionalists even acknowledged.
So, I'd like something that is concise and accessible to a teenager with a limited background in the subject and also respectfully argued - there are too many insightful authors who unfortunately limit their persuasiveness with an angry or mocking tone.
Many thanks in advance!
Answer by Paul A. Rahe
I would look at the introduction to Ronald J. Pestritto’s American Progressivism: A Reader. It is short, succinct, easy to read, and clear. Let me add that the volume includes a great variety of essays by the Progressives.
Answer by Diane Ellis
Check out Charles Kesler's "Statesmanship for America's Future." It provides an excellent short synopsis of the evolution of American progressivism and the conservative response to the three phases of progressivism.
Answer by Tom Lindholtz
Since no one with the qualifications you seek has risen to your request, here's two bits from the Peanut Gallery.
I'd start with Thomas Sowell. He's not as "old" as you're apparently looking for, but I think he has several benefits to what it sounds like you're trying to accomplish. With respect to your time frame, I'm inclined to think that we are now living in the golden age of conservative thought. That notion could be expanded, but it's beside the present point.
I think Sowell is excellent because he is adept at stating his case in terms that are not overly academic. He has an abundant archive in the form of short columns on a wide variety of topics. And, in an era when it is a knee jerk assumption that Blacks are always liberal and Democrats, he stands as a towering intellect who is a Black conservative. So, in addition to the excellence of his arguments, he may also serve as an icon and role model for some students who desparately need a good one.