Conference Explores 100th Anniversary of 'The Promise of American Life'

Conference Explores 100th Anniversary of 'The Promise of American Life'
Herbert Croly

Prominent scholars from around the country will converge at a free two-day conference to explore “Herbert Croly's The Promise of American Life at its Centenary” from Jan. 11 & 12 in the Bronco Student Center's England/Evans Room.

Herbert Croly was a political author whose book The Promise of American Life had such a striking impact on 20th century America that President Theodore Roosevelt used its themes in his second presidential campaign in 1912. Croly's thoughts impacted 20th century American politics, economic policy, social conditions, foreign affairs, journalism and intellectual thought. His views were represented first by the New Deal, sanctioned by the Eisenhower era, and culminated in the New Frontier and the Great Society.

“Croly may be the single most important thinker and writer to affect the modern, and novel, model of American liberalism,” says conference chair and history professor emeritus John A. Moore.

The conference intends to bring together absolutely the very best scholars on the topic who will provide seminal presentations and engage in a spirited discussion; any observer who is intrigued by politics, public philosophies, and public policies in the 20th and 21st century, including American foreign policy and economic policy, will find this conference highly enlightening, Moore says.

The conference opens at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 11, in the England/Evans Room. The portion “Herbert Croly in History” from at 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. includes presentations on “The Intellectual Origins of Croly's Promise” and “Herbert Croly in the History of Liberalism.”  Presentations exploring Croly's The Promise and Modern American Liberalism will be from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and address “Herbert Croly and 20th Century American Political Thought” and “Herbert Croly, Willard and Dorothy Straight, and the New Republic.”

On Saturday, Jan. 12, the conference opens at 9 a.m. The section “Croly and Public Policies” begins at 10 a.m., including presentations titled “Herbert Croly and U.S. Economic Policies” and “Of Heroes and Saints: The Promise of American Life and American Foreign Policy.” From 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. the six presenters will take part in a roundtable discussion “Assessing Croly's Promise at the Centenary.”

For more information about the free conference, contact John Moore at (909) 869-3585 or