Herbert Croly

Herbert Croly

Herbert David Croly (January 23, 1869 - May 17, 1930) was an American liberal political author.


He was born in New York City to Jane Cunningham Croly and David Goodman Croly. His mother wrote for the "New York World" and edited "Demorest's Monthly". His father was a reporter for the "New York Herald" and the "New York World".

In 1892 he married Louise Emory of Baltimore, Maryland.


Croly began his studies at the City College of New York in 1884. In 1886 he enrolled at Harvard University, but left in June 1888 without receiving a degree. He became editor of the "Architectural Record" from 1900 to 1913. In 1914, at the request of the co-founders of The New Republic, Willard and Dorothy Straight, he became the magazine's first editor, with Walter Lippmann as his young assistant. He remained as editor from the founding until his death in 1930.


In 1909, his book, "The Promise of American Life", was published. This book is said to "offer a manifesto of Progressive beliefs" which "anticipated the transition from competitive to corporate capitalism and from limited government to the welfare state".

The book, which discusses historical evolution of American society, includes analyses of slavery and slave-holders, corporations and unions, centralization and democracy, and individual as well as national purpose.

Political Influence

Croly's work influenced Theodore Roosevelt (who borrowed the "new nationalism" slogan), Woodrow Wilson, and the architects of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal. In 1985 historian David Levy published the first biography of Croly, "Herbert Croly and the New Republic".


*"The popular will cannot be taken for granted, it must be created."
*"Democracy may mean something more than a theoretically absolute popular government, but it assuredly cannot mean anything less."

External links

* [http://www.kevincmurphy.com/herbertcroly.htm The Promise of American Lives: Heroic Individualism in the Writings of Herbert Croly]

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