chapter  III
17 Pages

From the Jazz Age to the Great Crash

THE thinkers whose ideas I discussed briefly in my last chapter -Dewey, Veblen, Holmes, Beard and Robinson-were the most prominent instigators and representatives of a change in American social thought which began in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. One main source of this change was the transformation of American society itself; the rapid growth of industry and of towns, the appearance of great economic inequalities and the emergence of dissenting political movements such as populism. A second source is to be found in the academic world, where the influence of German universities and German thought introduced into the American social sciences the ideas of the historical economists and sociologists, and especially of those who became known as the 'socialists of the chair'- the university teachers who had accepted, either wholly or in part, the Marxist social theory.