Intellectuals in Action: The Origins of the New Left and Radical Liberalism, 1945-1970
Kevin MattsonISBN: 027102206X;
Historian Mattson (Creating a Democratic Public) breaks new ground with this informative and revealing study of the American New Left's intellectual roots. In separate chapters, he examines the philosophical and political contributions to the New Left of five people: Dwight McDonald, C. Wright Mills, Paul Goodman, William Appleton Williams, and Arnold Kaufman. The book's preface discusses McDonald's writings after he left the Communist Party in the 1940s and especially his ideas on pacifism, "radical individualism," and "communitarian anarchism." Against this backdrop, Mattson analyzes the thought and political actions of Mills, Goodman, Williams, and Kaufman, all of whom were instrumental in starting up New Left political action movements, such as the Vietnam War protest demonstrations, the university teach-in movement, and the formation of SDS (Students for a Democratic Society). All four, however, were repelled by the gratuitous confrontational tactics SDS and similar groups...
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