1st Edition

When Ideas Mattered
A Nathan Glazer Reader

ISBN 9781412864169
Published December 30, 2016 by Routledge
362 Pages

USD $160.00

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Book Description

Sociologist Nathan Glazer's remarkably long and productive career as a New York intellectual spans seven decades from the Great Depression era to the late twentieth century. A voracious intellect with a perpetual sense of curiosity, he defies easy labelling. When Ideas Mattered is a critical volume, but it also contains autobiographical essays Glazer has written over the years to explain the evolution of his own thought.

The book is a sensitive and nuanced examination of a towering intellectual figure on the American scene. It is organized into sections corresponding to Glazer's wide ranging interests: ethnicity, race, social policy and urbanism, and architecture. He has written on the myth of the American melting pot, the nature of American communism, the perils and importance of affirmative action, and the limits of social policy. Because Glazer's work has influenced succeeding generations of thinkers and scholars in a number of fields, the editors have included appraisals and assessments by several of these writers written especially for this volume.

Table of Contents


Part I: Introduction

An Unreliable Man
Joseph Dorman

Part II: The Melting Pot and After

1 America's Ethnic Pattern: "Melting Pot" or "Nation of Nations" (1953)
2 American Jewry or American Judaism? (1991)
3 American Epic: Then and Now (1998)
4 Culture and Achievement (2000)
5 Assimilation Today: Is One Identity Enough? (2004)

Part III: On Race
6 America's Race Paradox: The Gap between Social Progress & Political Despair (1968)
7 Academic Freedom in the 1990s (1996)
8 Impediments to Integration (1999)
9 In Defence of Preference (1998)

Part IV: Social Policy
10 The Limits of Social Policy (1971)
11 Reform Work, Not Welfare (1975)

Part V: Architecture and Urbanism
12 On Subway Graffiti in New York (1979)
13 Paris—The View from New York (1984)
14 The Prince, the People, and the Architects (1990)

Part VI: Glazer on Glazer
15 My Life in Sociology (2012)
16 Commentary: The Early Years (2005)
17 On Being Deradicalized (1970)
18 Neoconservative from the Start (2005)

Part VII: Glazer on Sociology
19 Tocqueville and Riesman (2000)

Part VIII: Appraisals
20 America's Leading Neoconservative Social Democrat
E. J. Dionne, Jr.
21 A Beautiful Mind
Mark Lilla
22 "A Young Man at the Periphery of the Profession"
Peter Skerry
23 A Sociologist for All Seasons
Jackson Toby
24 Connecting the World of Thought
Reed Ueda


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