Book Review: The Promise of American Politics, 46 Yale Law Journal 1269 (1937)
Legal scholars have long been urging that law is instrumental. Some few have asked: instrumental for what? To achieve what social ends should we, can we, shape our legal concepts? Here is an eloquent answer from an author who is both a practical politician and a professional philosopher. From a chaos of competing "isms" he seeks to create a political philosophy—an "invigorating myth," "a moral vocation"—for our "middle-income skill group." He asks himself these questions: What ideals are practicable? How can we use these to improve pressing conditions? How can vie come to terms with impracticable ideals? Today multitudinous doctrines beat upon the senses of the common man. Liberalism, socialism, fascism, communism, anarchism—all these have a natural history, have causes like other causes, and hence must have something to teach us. Each must be searched for its practical wisdom.
Date of Authorship for this Version
McDougal, Myres S., "The Promise of American Politics" (1937). Faculty Scholarship Series. Paper 2455.