The New Humanists Criticism: Major Figures - Essay

Francis X. Duggan (essay date 1966)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Duggan, Francis X. “Humanism and Naturalism.” In Paul Elmer More, pp. 133-42. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1966.

[In the following excerpt, Duggan explores More's association with the New Humanists, focusing on the attack on his ideas in C. Hartley Grattan's The Critique of Humanism.]


Throughout the first three decades of the century Irving Babbitt and Paul Elmer More had been attracting a number of disciples and supporters who, despite their differences, were sufficiently united in principles and general aims to be known by and to acknowledge a common designation. These were the New Humanists of the 1920's and...

(The entire section is 4184 words.)

Ronald Lora (essay date 1971)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Lora, Ronald. “The New Humanism of Irving Babbitt and Paul Elmer More.” In Conservative Minds in America, pp. 69-83. Chicago: Rand McNally & Company, 1971.

[In the essay below, Lora documents Babbitt's and More's contributions to the New Humanism and traces the development and eventual demise of the movement.]


Philosophical Conservatism found one of its classic expressions in the New Humanist movement of the first third of the twentieth century. In its two leaders, Irving Babbitt and Paul Elmer More, one sees the Conservative spirit articulating itself—a spirit skeptical of democracy, fearful of the mechanization of life,...

(The entire section is 5697 words.)

Stephen L. Tanner (essay date spring 1990)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Tanner, Stephen L. “Sinclair Lewis and the New Humanism.” Modern Age 33, no. 1 (spring 1990): 33-41.

[In the following essay, Tanner comments on the relationship between Sinclair Lewis and H. L. Mencken on the one hand, and the New Humanists on the other, noting their lack of understanding of one another.]

On December 12, 1930, accepting the Nobel Prize for Literature, Sinclair Lewis delivered what has been called “the most widely publicized address ever given by an American novelist.”1 Those familiar with the contours of Lewis's career agree that this speech must be taken as the high point, the zenith of achievement and recognition beyond...

(The entire section is 5554 words.)