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Critical Faculties

Spirit of the age

Historian Richard Hofstadter's enduring appeal

By Christopher Shea
May 28, 2006

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RICHARD HOFSTADTER'S ``The American Political Tradition," originally published in 1948 when the author was 32, still sells 10,000 copies a year-an astonishing figure, especially for an essay collection lacking an overarching theme. Yet its sharp biographical sketches have struck generations of readers as revelatory: Hofstadter's Teddy Roosevelt is a bloodthirsty, sham progressive; his Abraham Lincoln a careful cultivator of his ... (Full article: 1004 words)

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