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Radicalism in America Sidney Lens

Radicalism in America

Sidney Lens

Published
ISBN : 9780870734748
Hardcover
407 pages
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 About the Book 

Radical, like democracy, is a term all are constrained to define for themselves. If Lens--concentrating on what radicals actually accomplish, rather than what they propose-- chooses to see their role as an antidote to privilege, that is hisMoreRadical, like democracy, is a term all are constrained to define for themselves. If Lens--concentrating on what radicals actually accomplish, rather than what they propose-- chooses to see their role as an antidote to privilege, that is his privilege. Certainly one cannot argue with his proposition that it has been radicals, above all, who have been the motor force of American history, or his reiterated opinion that persons as richly individual as Sam Adams, Fanny Wright, John Brown, Gene Debs, Big Bill Haywood & A.J. Muste have as many similarities as differences. This was an ambitious undertaking, amounting to little less than a retelling of the political story of our nation, & Sidney Lens has encompassed his project more successfully than could have been expected. In line with his consistent emphasis upon connective rather than distinctive features of each age & movement, he has been able to treat touchy subjects--the Communist Party, for instance--as comprehendingly as safe ones. He has also managed to provide broad guidelines & some focus for understanding the as-yet unfinished stories of the Civil Rights & Peace movements, & the New Left. A vigorous job.--Kirkus (edited)