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Reinhold Niebuhr’s Manuscript of “America’s Precarious Eminence,” 1947

ISSUE:  Fall 2016

VQR Reinhold Niebuhr

In our Fall 1947 issue, Reinhold Niebuhr published “America’s Precarious Eminence,” which was the first of three contributions to our magazine by the renowned theologian. The essay is concerned with themes of American exceptionalism, power, and place on the global scale in the aftermath of two world wars. It was reprinted in Reinhold Niebuhr on Politics: His Political Philosophy and Its Application to Our Age as Expressed in His Writings (1960), edited by Harry R. Davis and Robert C. Good. His manuscripts are in the VQR archives in the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia.


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