a damaging review of two Sorokin works

 

Ruth Benedict review of The Crisis of Our Age & Dynamics – New Republic 2-2-1942

 

Posted here is a review by Ruth Benedict of Sorokin’s The Crisis of Our Age and of his Social and Cultural Dynamics in The New Republic of February 2, 1942.

The review identifies and nails some of Sorokin’s fundamental weaknesses as a scholar. But, in my opinion (I would be inclined to say, that is), Sorokin does not fit neatly into any scholarly paradigm. He came out of a Russian tradition which was more mystical (is that the right word?) — certainly — than was or is seen in the social sciences; and he was never really understood or accepted by American intellectuals.

 

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Ruth Benedict (1887-1948) was an American anthropologist and folklorist. She taught at Columbia University, where she did graduate work under the anthropologist Franz Boas. Patterns of Culture was her best known work.

 

— posted by Roger W. Smith

      July 2021

dedication page, “Social and Cultural Dynamics”

 

 

dedication, 'Social and Cultural Dynamics'

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the dedication page of the first volume of Sorokin’s Social and Cultural Dynamics (1937). Peter and Sergei were Sorokin’s sons.

Few would disagree, I am sure, that there was something wonderful — authentic, deep, sincere — about Sorokin the person. And I feel this can be seen in his family and the Russian émigré milieu he and they moved in: their closest associates and friends.

 

 

— posted by Roger W. Smith

   May 2020