Cover image for Democracy and leadership
Democracy and leadership
Babbitt, Irving, 1865-1933.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Indianapolis : Liberty Classics, [1978]

[1978] c1952
Physical Description:
390 pages ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.

Format :

On Order



. . . one of the few truly important works of political thought.

--Russell Kirk

Irving Babbitt was a leader of the intellectual movement called American Humanism, or the New Humanism, and a distinguished professor of French literature at Harvard. Democracy and Leadership, first published in 1924, is his only directly political book, and in it he applies the principles of humanism to the civil social order.

Babbitt rejects all deterministic philosophies of history, whether they be the older type found in Saint Augustine or Bossuet, which tends to make of man the puppet of God, or the new type, which tends in all its varieties to make of man the puppet of nature. He offers a compelling critique of unchecked majoritarianism and addresses the great problem of how to discover leaders with standards.

Table of Contents

Russell Kirk
Forewordp. 11
Prefatory Notep. 21
Introductionp. 23
1 The Types of Political Thinkingp. 49
2 Rousseau and the Idyllic Imaginationp. 93
3 Burke and the Moral Imaginationp. 121
4 Democracy and Imperialismp. 141
5 Europe and Asiap. 183
6 True and False Liberalsp. 211
7 Democracy and Standardsp. 265
Appendix A Theories of the Willp. 345
Appendix B Absolute Sovereigntyp. 361
Bibliographyp. 367
Indexp. 377