Thomas C. Leonard of Princeton University says that 20th-century Progressives weren’t the people you may have thought they were, in his new book Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics, and American Economics in the Progressive Era.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Leonard talks 41zMhIbMYKLabout how the Progressives of yesteryear differ from the Progressives of today, whether eugenics really was central to their politics, and what lessons their experience holds for us now, at a time when we possess unprecedented powers to alter the human genome.



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  1. iWe Reagan
    iWeJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I listened to this. The author is contending that Progressives of yore really have nothing to do with modern Progressives. But every characteristic he lists of the legacy movement (save for Christianity), is indeed prevalent today as well: using the state to fix humanity; putting the group above the individual; relying on and trusting in experts, etc.

    Not impressed.

    • #1
    • February 23, 2016, at 10:04 AM PST
    • Like