Marilyn Lake’s important book Progressive New World reveals the forgotten transpacific linkages and relationships (mostly between America and Australia) that animated Progressive Era reform in the United States. Lake adopts the approach she and coauthor Henry Reynolds used to great effect in Drawing the Global Colour Line: White Men’s Countries and the International Challenge of Racial Equality (2008), which broke new ground on the study of whiteness by tracing the circulation of people, ideas, and technologies among white settler societies that gave rise to what W. E. B. Dubois famously called the global color line (or what Pankaj Mishra has recently dubbed the “religion of whiteness”).1 The settler colonialism framework reveals the dark side of American pro-gressivism by highlighting the racial exclusion and indigenous dispossession that went into the project. “Such a perspective,” Lake explains, “allows us to better understand progressivism’s ambiguous character as simultaneously democratic and elitist, reformist...

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