The End of the Experiment

The End of the Experiment

The Rise of Cultural Elites and the Decline of America’s Civic Culture

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ISBN: 978-1-4128-6248-6
Pages: 256
Binding: Hardcover
Publication Date: 12-31-2015
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The End of the Experiment ties together Stanley Rothman’s theory of post-industrialism and his four decades of research on American politics and society. Rothman discusses the rise and fall of the New Left, the sixties’ impact on America’s cultural elites, and the emergence of new post-industrial humanistic values.

The first part of this book explains how cultural shifts in post-industrial society increased the influence of intellectuals and redefined America’s core values. The second part examines how the shift in American social and cultural values led to a crisis of confidence in the American experiment. And in a final section, Rothman’s contemporaries provide insight into his work, reflecting on his continued infl uence and his devotion to traditional liberalism.

Rothman presents a quantitative study of personality differences between traditional American elites and new cultural elites. Rothman argues that the experiment of America—as a new nation rooted in democracy, morality, and civic virtue—is being destroyed by a disaffected intellectual class opposed to traditional values.

Editorial Reviews

“Stanley Rothman’s work is distinguished by his breadth of vision, his intellectual courage, and the rigorous and innovative methods by which he put his ideas to the test.  These qualities shine through The End of the Experiment, which…raises questions about America’s future that remain as relevant today than they were when Rothman addressed them in his remarkable series of studies spanning the past half-century.”

—Bob Lichter, George Mason University

“Spanning history, psychology, sociology, and political science, this volume reflects a half century of thinking and writing by a master social scientist. The End of the Experiment should be read by those in and outside the academy, and by all who care about our nation’s great past, and highly uncertain future.”  

—Richard E. Redding, Chapman University

“Rothman’s book, written over two decades and left unfinished at the time of his death, has had the good fortune to be rescued and brought to completion. What we have here are final considerations of one of the great social scientists of the last half-century.  It is somber vision expressed in a sadly resigned voice, but it is also a testament to the power of the social sciences at their best to help us see ourselves as we really are.”   

—Peter Wood, National Association of Scholars


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Table of Contents

Foreword by Robert Maranto 

Preface by Matthew Woessner 

Acknowledgments by Althea Nagai 

Part I: The Unraveling of Liberal Capitalism

1        Post-Industrial America

2        A Changing America

3        Post-Calvinist Society and the Rise of the Modern Intellectual 

4        The Communications Revolution and American Society 

Part II: New Strategic Elites

5        Elites in Conflict: The Theory (with Althea Nagai

6        Elites in Conflict: The Findings (with Althea Nagai)
7        Personality, Occupation, and Social Change
         (with Althea Nagai

8        Afterword by Althea Nagai 

Part III: Rothman’s Impact

9        Stanley Rothman: Scholar and Academic Citizen
          by Stephen H. Balch 

10      The New Left and Political Intolerance
          by April Kelly-Woessner
11      “People Are More Important Than Ideas”: The Achievement of Stanley Rothman
          by David J. Rothman 


List of Contributors