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  • Editor's Introduction
  • Arthur Versluis

Welcome to arguably the richest, strongest, and most intellectually diverse issue JSR has ever published. This issue features thematically connected articles on topics ranging from the California counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s, Romanticism, the Luddite movement, a little-known right-wing secret society of the American Midwest, anarchism, and ecological radicalism, all impelled by religious or semi-religious impulses, but arrayed across the political spectrum.

We are delighted to feature our lead article on Theodore Roszak and his work after fifty years by the eminent British scholar of religion and politics, Christopher Partridge. Partridge reflects on the importance of Roszak's distinctive and influential work on the counterculture and situates it in the broader context of intellectual history, sharpening our understanding of both Roszak's work and romantic radicalism. Our second article complements the first, as Pedro Galán Lozano explores the countercultural space created by guerilla theater during the 1960s in San Francisco. To what extent and in what ways was the countercultural movement radical? This is the question for which these articles pose related answers, the first via intellectual history, the second in terms of embodiment and enactment.

"'The Hell that Bigots Frame': Queen Mab, Luddism, and the Rhetoric of Working-Class Revolution," by Stephen J. Pallas, moves us back into early-nineteenth-century England and the early industrial period, looking into the connections between Luddites and the work of Romantic poets Percy Bysshe Shelley and William Blake. Here we encounter again the theme [End Page v] of Romantic radicalism initiated by Partridge, now manifesting not as an influence in twentieth-century American counterculture but in its seminal form in English Romanticism and English radicalism. To what extent can these important Romantic poets be considered also revolutionary, and what sort of revolution do they advocate when seen in a larger historical context?

This issue also features revealing articles on seemingly fringe radical groups. In "The Black Legion: J. Edgar Hoover and Fascism in the Depression Era," Andrew G. Palella presents and analyzes a little-known Midwestern American fascist group in the 1930s, arguing that the group has largely been lost to historical memory because of J. Edgar Hoover's disinclination to investigate it. The article draws from copious primary FBI source material in order to tell this fascinating story of a secretive group of the American right. In "Road to Notoriety: Johann Most in Austria (1868–1871)," Tom Goyens explores a neglected period in the life of famous New York anarchist Johann Most, focusing on his trial for treason, imprisonment, and ensuing sensational press as a defining period of Most's stormy life. In both articles, we see that what seems to be a fringe radical group engages issues central to national and international mainstream historical narratives of the time.

Our final two articles center on the theme of ecological radicalism, with very different perspectives. The first, Feler Bose's "The Green Marketplace: Applying a Model of Church and Sect to the Environmental Movement," analyzes radical environmental groups as (or in terms of) religious movements that splinter into sectarianism, arguing that, in principle, such a model is a valuable tool for understanding how radical environmentalism functions sociologically. The second, Australian scholar Nicole Rogers's article on radical anti–climate change activism, looks at various groups and individuals with an eye to climate change litigation and performance studies. Of course, what is radical and what is social reform remain vexed questions in some of these cases, precisely what these articles begin to explore.

The issue concludes with a series of book reviews on a range of important topics, including an important new history of American (radical?) conservatism, a new book on psychedelics and the 1960s counterculture, two books on the history of anarchism, a book on the Cold War and black radicalism, and a book on the Paris Commune.

As always, JSR seeks provide a forum for the scholarly and dispassionate analysis of radicalism of many kinds and from many different perspectives. [End Page vi] We continue to welcome a steady stream of excellent articles and remain the only journal in the world that focuses on the full range of political, social, and...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1930-1197
Print ISSN
1930-1189
Pages
pp. v-vii
Launched on MUSE
2018-09-20
Open Access
No
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