As regular listeners know, we never tire of beating up on Progressivism—both the old kind and today’s high-octane version—and we especially like to beat up on Woodrow Wilson. Most of what we know about Wilson’s perfidy comes from the ur-text of Wilson criticism, Ronald J. Pestritto’s Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism from 2005.

R.J. (as he is known to his friends), is out this week with a terrific new book that builds on and vastly extends his previous work, America Transformed: The Rise and Legacy of American Progressivism, just out this week from our friends at Encounter Books. This book deserves to take its place as the pre-eminent work that surveys the whole scene, bringing in new themes of the role of the “Social Gospel,” imperialism, the lasting effect of Wilsonian internationalism on American foreign policy, and many other worthy threads. In particular, the closing chapters of the book look at the ways in which radical progressive ideology informs the “administrative state” running amok in Washington.

Ronald J. Pestritto is Graduate Dean and Professor of Politics at Hillsdale College, where he teaches political philosophy, American political thought, and American politics, and holds the Charles and Lucia Shipley Chair in the American Constitution.

And since this episode is about Progressivism, I decided we needed to feature some Progressive rock as the exit bumper music (though some people think “Progressive rock” is actually conservative in some respects), so I chose a deliberately obscure tune to see if anyone recognizes it.


Subscribe to Power Line in Apple Podcasts (and leave a 5-star review, please!), or by RSS feed. For all our podcasts in one place, subscribe to the Ricochet Audio Network Superfeed in Apple Podcasts or by RSS feed.

There are 3 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Boney Cole Member
    Boney Cole

    In regards as to what to do: I was very impressed with John Hinderacker’s traveling road show in Minnesota.  A good model for all fifty states.  Also, I have been very impressed with the Arizona audit so far.  It seems to have been a gargantuan task just to get judicial approval for the audit. It appears to have been a local operation that may have National consequences.  A seeming injustice is being investigated by local people who are opposed by every governmental institution in the city and county.  What a great story of everyday American grit and perseverance. 

    Great statement from Sydney Powell:  you don’t fail to investigate a murder just because you can’t bring the victim back to life.

    • #1
  2. colleenb Member

    Very much enjoyed this interview. Steve, if you’re still looking at comments, would you recommend one of the books over the other? My never-to-be-completed book list is getting longer by the day. By the way, when I put WW and the Roots of Liberalism on the list, I first spelled it Rots. Freudian slip or truth or should I embrace the power of and.

    • #2
  3. StoughtonObserver Inactive
    @Bruce W Banerdt

    Ok Steve, I give. Sounds so familiar but I can’t pin it down. What group is it? 

    • #3
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.