If I were attempting anything like an appraisal of Herbert Croly I should say, I think, that he was the first important political philosopher who appeared in America in the twentieth century. I should say that “The Promise of American Life” was the political classic which announced the end of the Age of Innocence with its romantic faith in American destiny and inaugurated the process of self-examination. That is, of course, the opinion of a very grateful friend; yet I believe it will be justified when our history is sufficiently distant and neutral to be interpreted.
If an optimist is a man who makes lemonade out of all the lemons that are handed to him, men Senator Harding is the greatest of all optimists. He has been told by his friends and his critics that he is colorless and without sap, commonplace and dull, weak and servile. Right you are, says the Senator. You have described exactly the kind of man this country needs. It has tried Roosevelt and Wilson, and look. It can't stand the gaff. I am nothing that they were. I am no superman like Roosevelt and no superthinker like Wilson. Therefore, I am just the man you are looking for. How do I know that?
More ingenious use of Scripture has rarely been made than in a recent preliminary report of the National Association of Manufacturers. The document deals with the legislative minimum wage. It will repay reading by anyone who wishes to mix laughter with his tears. He will find that the discussion begins at the beginning, with Genesis, in fact, from which we learn that Jacob worked seven years in payment for each of his wives, Leah and Rachel, and six years more for the possession of a herd of cattle.