Purchase this Book
The Next Progressive Era provides a blueprint for a re-empowered progressive movement and describes its implications for American families, work, health, food, and savings.
A century ago, Progressives faced an eerily familiar set of challenges, including vast income inequalities, high levels of middle-class debt, concentrated corporate power, deep financial panics, environmental degradation, and the deteriorating quality of family life. They met those challenges in large part by linking their reforms to the Jeffersonian ideal of the small-scale producer--the so-called yeoman tradition.
The Next Progressive Era argues that modern-day Progressives must return to their roots by protecting families from the social and environmental ravages of global capital. In doing so, the authors maintain, reformers would do well to rediscover the virtues of thrift, a long-neglected Progressive value that stressed the conservation of environmental as well as financial resources.
February 16, 2009
Longman and Boshara, both of the think tank the New America Foundation, tackle the most worrisome of American early 21st-century problems: environmental preservation, exurbanization and car culture, the country’s uneven health-care system and the debt and credit crises. They connect seemingly disparate U.S. social ills: urban sprawl, car-choked highways and the health-care crisis, for example, and they offer policy solutions from the core Progressive ideals of the early 20th century--including the practice of thrift as a road to financial independence. They note a return to yeomanry--their term for Americans’ increasing rates of entrepreneurship and independent contract work to escape the “wage slavery” of working for a large corporation. Calling for “stronger,” rather than bigger government to regulate big business, they evoke Teddy Roosevelt’s assertion that regulation should only “give each man as good a chance as possible to develop the qualities he has in him.” Despite the subtitle, this is not a lofty blueprint but an astute policy guide, communicating the urgency for reform in health care, banking and transportation without resorting to shrillness or stridency.
Additional Praise for The Next Progressive Era
"The Next Progressive Era is as honest and fair as it is smart
and engaging. Longman and Boshara are interested in thinking deep, not
stacking the deck or scoring points. Conservatives, in particular, will
find it invaluable as a clear-eyed excavation of the period and a new
way of examining first principles."
--Jonathan Last, The Weekly Standard and Philadelphia Inquirer
"In this well woven-blend of history and policy pitching, Longman and
Boshara maintain that a new Progressive era is at hand. They deftly
explain the political, economic, and social shifts that have led to
this moment. More important, they offer a sensible policy agenda and a
vigorous political case for their ideas predicated on time-tested
Progressive values but crafted for the daunting challenges of today."
--David Corn, Mother Jones
"Every page of this provocative book contains a compelling historical insight or fresh idea. Some ideas are old--"the yeoman ideal." Some are new--"personal fabricators." All tap a spirit of reform and renewal that lies deep in the marrow of America."
--Jonathan Alter, The Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope