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Crossing The Frontiers Of The Unknown: Fred. L. Polak's Road To Pioneer Of Futures Studies In The United States

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Chapter Summary

One of the pioneers of the American Futures Studies movement was the Dutch sociologist Fred L. Polak, who acquired this status with his book, The Image of the Future. Since the book was most influential among American futurists, this book and its impact, within the context of Polak's Dutch background and the American political and cultural climate of opinion, is the main focus of this chapter. The chapter argues that in the process of Polak becoming a pioneer of the American Futures Studies movement 'Dutch' as well as 'American' elements played an equal role. In particular a combination of a deep concern for humanity, 'Dutch' ethics, and a certain 'Americanism' in his positive and pragmatic approach to the social sciences made his work so attractive for American scholars of the future. Polak was a key participator in the ongoing public debate in The Netherlands on the crisis in Western civilization.

Keywords:American Futures Studies; Dutch sociologist; Fred L. Polak; The Image of the Future; Western civilization



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