Intellectuals in Action
The Origins of the New Left and Radical Liberalism, 1945–1970
Publication Year: 2002
Published by: Penn State University Press
It is always a pleasure to thank those who helped along the way. In my case, there were many. Thanks first of all to Taylor Stoehr. I contacted Taylor because of his immense knowledge about Paul Goodman’s life, but he wound up giving more help than I deserved or expected ...
Introduction: Why Go Back?
Lamenting the lack of an effective left in American politics is a venerable tradition. The title of Werner Sombart’s classic work, Why Is There No Socialism in the United States? (1906), asked a formidable question—and Sombart did not need to justify asking it. ...
1 A Preface to the politics of Intellectual Life in Postwar America: The Possibility of New Left Beginnings
The 1940s are often taken as a decade of American triumph. In 1941, the famous and wealthy publisher of Life magazine, Henry Luce, wrote that the twentieth century “is ours not only in the sense that we happen to live in it but ours also because it is America’s first century as a dominant power in the world.” ...
2 The Godfather, C. Wright Mills: The Intellectual as Agent
When C. Wright Mills met Dwight Macdonald in 1942, the two men hit it off well, both enjoying the art of argument. In fact, as Macdonald’s biographer put it, “Dwight claimed that [Mills] could argue longer and louder about any subject than even he could.” While Mills lived outside of New York City ...
3 Paul Goodman, Anarchist Reformer: The Politics of Decentralization
In the last year of World War II, readers of politics witnessed C. Wright Mills exchange tough words with Paul Goodman. The matter at hand was the relationship between psychological theory and radical politics. In the context of a history of New Left intellectuals, the debate made clear the range of approaches ...
4 William Appleman Williams, Republican Leftist: History as Political Lesson
William Appleman Williams tried to show the importance of studying history to the New Left and was once called “the dean of America’s historical ‘left.’” Of the intellectuals examined here, he most identified with his professional discipline. It follows that he was more comfortable with academia, ...
5 Arnold Kaufman, Radical Liberal: Liberalism Rediscovered
Unlike the other intellectuals studied here, Arnold Kaufman is not always recognized as an intellectual who had significant influence on the New Left. Mention his name, and most historians of the New Left scratch their heads. And yet, more than others, Arnold Kaufman developed the idea of “participatory democracy” ...
6 Studies on the Left and New University Thought: Lessons Learned and Disintegrations
While C. Wright Mills, Paul Goodman, William Appleman Williams, and Arnold Kaufman wrote books and essays describing what a New Left should look like, a younger generation of activists and scholars was coming of age. Developing their own voices while relying upon a critical intellectual heritage, ...
Conclusion: Lost Causes, Radical Liberalism, and the Future
It might seem ironic that a book telling a tale of decline would wind up, in the end, arguing for something salvageable from that same story of decline. But so it is with this book. Writing about “lost causes,” as the historian Vernon Parrington called them, is not an easy task, either from the standpoint ...
Page Count: 320
Publication Year: 2002
OCLC Number: 73726750
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