Historical and systematic in its treatment, this work reviews the idea of progress in Western thought as it relates to civilization, in a more comprehensive survey than is to be found in previous writings on the subject. In the author's view, the history of civilization reveals an increasing range of human capacity, both for good and for evil, depending upon men's choice between contending values.
From this standpoint, the work proceeds to the exploration of such fields of social activity as the evolution of the family, the emancipation of women, economic conditions and technology, intellectual and aesthetic values, moral and religious experience.
Civilization and Progress is marked by balanced and judicious treatment, very broad learning, and a lucid and forceful style. The author asks us to consider the alternatives we face and to reflect on the choices which men have made in the past, which confront us in the present world crisis, and on which our destiny hangs in the future. Seminal in scholarship and creativity, this work will interest those concerned with the Western intellectual tradition and with the condition of mankind.