Charles Clayton Morrison’s personality set the tone for the refounded Century, and his personal connections enabled the magazine’s survival. It makes sense, then, to begin this study of the Century with a look at Morrison’s biography, particularly the ways that his life tracked with the lives of other early mainline leaders. As the Century reflected Morrison’s character, he, in turn, reflected the character of liberal Protestantism at the opening of the twentieth century, particularly its eagerness to accumulate and deploy cultural capital. The power associated with cultural capital was not the divine right of kings, but the deserved right of experts. It became a potent force as the nineteenth century gave way to the early twentieth, the heyday of idealistic, ambitious, and credentialed Progressives.
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