The lovely lady who was about to introduce me to the Women’s Association luncheon was chatting away at me and I was answering “Oh?” and “Yes, Yes” because I was more interested in what I was about to say to the Women’s Association than I was in what she was about to say to me. But there was an abiding residue to her remarks, and it occurred to me that she had told me her brother had just written a book and that she was going to send me one for a gift and that she hoped I would read it. So she sent it to me and I read it and I’m glad. I think you ought to read it too.
The book, The Crossroads of Liberalism (Oxford University Press, 1961), is by Charles Forcey. Charles Forcey has been Assistant Professor of History at Columbia University and has become a member of the Graduate School faculty of Rutgers University and Douglass College this year. He apparently has liberal leanings, liberal in politics and economics, because I don’t know where he leans in theology, and he has the skill as a writer and the grasp as a thinker to rank him, in my opinion, with men of the stature of Arthur Schlesinger, who, as you know, also takes the liberal tradition in politics and economics for his field of operation. Forcey’s book is beautifully written and bounds in insights and asides which light up characters and movements.
For a sometime and somewhat theologian to venture into another discipline is, of course, dangerous, but I am of the notion that one of the great values of the book to me was that, just because of my amateur standing in politics and economics, the book was an opening of many areas of thought which are not my normal fare. Apart from the thesis of the book, to which we shall soon turn, there is a remarkably fine treatment of ...1
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