Frustrated Social Theorists
by Porter Sargent - 1937
A RELEASE last April from the Harvard University News Office announced, "Dr. P. A. Sorokin, chairman of the Department of Sociology, has completed a survey of 'the social and cultural movements of the last 2,500 years.'" This modest statement of the completion of so great a task stimulated my eagerness to get hold of the volumes. With great expectations, we waded into the three volumes, anticipating all the "answers." But like the lad who "Joined the navy to see the world, What did we see? We saw the sea." "Painstaking scholarship" there was, but instead of "fertility of ideas" we found sterility, the "interpretation" one of palsied fear, the "startling . . . originality" a ratiocinated Oriental fatalism, the "explanation of forces" an admission of defeat, a call to retreat.
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