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Friday, December 15, 2017    
One of the primary tests of the mood of a society at any given time is whether its comfortable people tend to identify, psychologically, with the power and achievements of the very successful or with the needs and sufferings of the underprivileged.
  --Richard Hofstadter, historian (1916-1970)
(140:8.12) The Master did not say that men should never entertain their friends at meat, but he did say that his followers should make feasts for the poor and the unfortunate.

(141:7.8) To insure the recognition of his Father in the unfolding of the plan of the kingdom, Jesus explained that he had purposely ignored the "great men of earth." He began his work with the poor, the very class which had been so neglected by most of the evolutionary religions of preceding times. He despised no man; his plan was world-wide, even universal. He was so bold and emphatic in these announcements that even Peter, James, and John were tempted to think he might possibly be beside himself.

(196:2.8) Jesus blessed the poor because they were usually sincere and pious; he condemned the rich because they were usually wanton and irreligious. He would equally condemn the irreligious pauper and commend the consecrated and worshipful man of wealth.


     Richard Hofstadter was an American historian and public intellectual of the mid-20th century. Hofstadter was the DeWitt Clinton Professor of American History at Columbia University. Rejecting his earlier approach to history from the far left, in the 1950s he embraced consensus history, becoming the "iconic historian of postwar liberal consensus," largely because of his emphasis on ideas and political culture rather than the day-to-day doings of politicians. His influence is ongoing, as modern critics profess admiration for the grace of his writing, and the depth of his insight.
     His most important works are Social Darwinism in American Thought, 1860–1915 (1944); The American Political Tradition (1948); The Age of Reform (1955); Anti-intellectualism in American Life (1963), and the essays collected in The Paranoid Style in American Politics (1964). He was twice awarded the Pulitzer Prize: in 1956 for The Age of Reform, an unsentimental analysis of the populism movement in the 1890s and the progressive movement of the early 20th century; and in 1964 for the cultural history Anti-intellectualism in American Life.

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