The Bert Cochran Legacy
|First published: Macmillan, 1961
The fifties summed up a decade without a hero and without a message. Our intellectuals seem to have exhausted their liberal and radical impulses; we ourselves seem to have lost faith in the cluster of Enlightenment ideas and ideals. But the disaffection is peculiar to the West. An entirely different set of imperatives operates in both the underdeveloped and Communist worlds. Our aging mistress may seem stale and stupid to our jaded senses, but she is still dazzling and desirable to the many not so well circumstanced as ourselves.
Russia and the United States have become rival banking consortiums bidding for the favor of the world's destitute. Who will be the builder of the new international order? What must we do to come up to the mark? This is Bert Cochran's preoccupation here. He asks us to understand the present American crisis by placing it in the context of our historical rhythms. He asks us to look seriously and directly at our specific situation. The impact and challenge of Soviet economic growth and its influence on Africa and Asia, the general dislocation of social life and the resulting disillusionment, the significance of massive technological developmentsall facets and manifestations of the malaise of our time are analyzed here.
Note: This description appeared on the original jacket cover of the book.
The title of this book comes from the poetry of W.H. Auden:
Therein lies the crux of America's current problems, believes the author, who with this book turns to the field of social science after 15 years as a specialist in labor relations.
Dallas Morning News
According to the author our material prosperity has brought about an intellectual inertia which makes it difficult for us to adjust to changing conditions.... This is a thoughtful, if controversial, consideration of our current political and social problems. It is written with wit and a high degree of literary sophistication.
The Daily Oklahoman
A cogent, readable analysis of our national and international predicament, culminating in a call for strengthened planning to increase the rate of economic growth and improve our relations with underdeveloped countries.
The Key Reporter
Note: The Key Reporter is a quarterly newsletter of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. The sociologist Robert C. Angell, who was a member of the society's book committee, included the book in his list of recommended reading for the Spring 1962 issue.
Print copies of Bert Cochran's books are available from libraries and online retailers. Brown University is considering assuming the responsibility of digitizing Bert Cochran's complete works. The details are still being worked out. Check this site for updated information.
Available online now:
A collection of Bert Cochran's book reviews, originally published in The Nation, The Washington Post, and other publications
Reissued in 2005 for the launch of The Bert Cochran Legacy and available for free download as a PDF file