“The first articulation of what we would today recognize as modern liberalism was shaped by the lyrical left of pre-WWI Greenwich Village and also by the split within the Progressive movement between those who supported American involvement in WWI and the philo-German opponents of the war.”
“For the Greenwich Villagers of 1915, H.G. Wells was a seer. The influential literary critic Van Wyck Brooks, who coined the term “highbrow,” “lowbrow,” and “middlebrow” to demarcate the levels of taste in American life, was the first American to write a book on Wells. “Without doubt,” wrote Brooks, “Wells has altered the air we breathe and made a conscious fact in many minds the excellence that resides in certain kinds of men and modes of living and odiousness that resides in others.” Hope for the Wellsian future, Brooks argued, was to found in “the rudiments of a socialist state,” which he located “in the Rockefeller Institute, the Carnegie and Russell Sage Foundations, the endowed universities and bureaus of research, and in the type of men they breed.” ─ The Revolt Against the Masses, copyright © 2013 by Fred Siegel, Encounter Books, Page 14.