Randolph Bourne, an American Intellectual, Author, and Pacifist

Topics: World War I, World War II, John Dewey Pages: 3 (945 words) Published: March 6, 2007
Research Paper 1 on Randolph Bourne

Trans-National America

Randolph Bourne was an American intellectual, an author and a pacifist who established a name himself as a sharp critic of social pretences. He was born in 1886 in Bloomfield, New Jersey, a small town on the East Coast. Bourne was disfigured at birth by the attending physician's forceps, and an attack of spinal tuberculosis at age four left him stunted and hunchbacked. Bourne always lived in a sort of emotional isolation and therefore seldom appeared in public, but devoted himself to writing and study.

He held a variety of odd jobs before winning a scholarship to Columbia University at the age of 23, from which he received a Master's Degree in 1913. At Columbia College in the early 1910s he met John Dewey and Charles Beard, intellectuals like himself and during that time he started publishing essays in journals such as the Atlantic Monthly and the Dial.

After finishing his Master's Degree at Columbia University, Randolph Bourne traveled to Paris and during this time he experienced the European culture and gained European influence which also had lots of impact on his writing. After a year in Europe, resulting in 1914 in ‘Impressions in Europe: 1913-1914,' he turned his attention to the progressive education theories of the pragmatist philosopher John Dewey. The outcome was two books called ‘The Gary Schools' (1916) and ‘Education and Living' (1917). In 1918, he died of influenza epidemic that spread throughout the country after the close of the war. Randolph Bourne was only 32 years old at that time.

The most important aspect about Bourne's life is definitely the fact that he opposed US entry into World War I. Bourne had different views toward America's entrance into the First World War and it was because of that that him and his mentor, John Dewey got involved into serious arguments, which led to the break of this relationship. Bourne opposed the US entry into World War I...
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